Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "The history of Scotland from Agricola's invasion to the revolution of 1688"

See other formats


V. 7 

,yfc--— ^- 



Smith ' 


Presented to 



Li n i versHy, 



N Smith, M . A 

. Oxon., 


us Profeffbr of Hiftory 
Univerfity of Oxford. 

in the 


3 1924 103 071 399 


Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

























©Jatlcs I. 

















IMPON, . . . . • 4!->-124 

®f)arlcs 1. 
















ffijjarkg B. 
















CLAMATION OF CHARLES II., . . . 199-251 

®5c ©ommontDealti). 














PROTECTORATE, ..... 252-334 

Social progress from tljc Mtformation to ti)c Mcstoration. 












SIONS, ...... 335-3^5 

Mestoratfon <5«ttkmcnt. 











®l)arlcs H. 




COURT — Lauderdale's position — contest with middleton 















OP THE MURDERERS, .... 432-508 

?^ouge of ^tcfoart to tl)c Metiolution. 








SION OF JAMES VII. — Monmouth's rebellion — argyle's in- 



THE EEVOLUTION, .... 509-576 

INDEX, ...... 577-651 















When Huntly, the natural leader of the king's party 
in the north, died in 1636, his son George, the heir of 
the house, was in France, commanding a company of 
gens cHarmes. He had not long returned home when 
it became clear that the Royalist and Cavalier party 
must look to him as the centre of their strength ; and 
soon after the period which we have reached he was 
appointed the king's Lieutenant in the north. At an 



early stage of the dispute we find the instinct of the 
Covenanters pointing to him as their natural enemy, 
but taking a moderate estimate of his power to hurt 
them. Strong he was, no doubt, in his own place ; 
but he was isolated by barriers not to be broken by 
any strength at his command. Eoxburgh had alluded 
to danger in that quarter in a conversation with 
Eothes ; " whereto Eothes replied he would not give a 
salt citron for liim ; for two Fife lairds could keep 
him from crossing Dundee Ferry, and half-a-dozen 
Angus lairds could keep him from crossing the Cairn 
o' Month ; that three parts of his name is decayed, 
and he wants the two sheriffships." ^ This is an allu- 
sion to the discountenance of the house of Huntly by 
the Court of King Charles, and especially to the re- 
moval out of its hands of the sheriffship of Aberdeen 
and the sherifiship of Inverness. 

But, if we may credit one who had good means of 
knowing what he said, though the Covenanting chief 
thus slighted Huntly 's power, the party had made 
zealous efforts to secure him as an ally. Had they 
clone so, all Scotland would have been theirs before 
the war had begun ; for the community of Aberdeen, 
even if a few zealous lairds in the neighbourhood had 
joined them, could not have made even a show of 
resistance. The young Huntly had been brought up 
a Protestant, so that no impassable gulf lay between 
him and the Presbyterians, as in his father's day. 
Colonel Pv,obert Monro, one of the Scotsmen from the 
German Avars who had taken service with the Cove- 
nanters, was sent as their ambassador to Strathbogie. 
The offers intrusted to him were great : " The sum 

1 Relation, 62, 6.3. 


of his commission to Huntly was, that the noblemen 
Covenanters were desirous that he shouki join with them 
in the common cause ; tliat if he would do so, and 
take the Covenant, they would give him the first place, 
and make him leader of their forces ; and further, 
they would make his state and his fortunes greater 
than ever they were ; and, moreover, they should pay 
off and discharge all his debts, which they knew to be 
about ane hundred thousand pounds sterling ; that 
their forces and associates were a hundred, to one with 
the king ; and therefore it was to no purpose to him 
to take up arms against them, for if he refused his 
offer and declared against them, they should find 
means to disable him for to helf) the king ; and, 
moreover, they knew how to undo him ; and bade 
him expect that they will ruinate his family and 

The reception given by the new marquess to this 
alternative is told in thorough keeping with the 
chivalrous character of his father : " To this proposi- 
tion Huntly gave a short and resolute re.partee, that 
his family had risen and stood by the kings of Scot- 
land ; and for his part, if the event proved the ruin 
of this king, he was resolved to lay his life, honours, 
and estate under the rubbish of the king his ruins. 
But withal thanked the gentleman who had brought 
the commission and had advised him thereto, as pro- 
ceeding from one whom he took for a friend and good- 
wilier, and urged out of a good intention to him." ^ 

To note the source whence the chief secular 
strength on the other side was to be drawn we must 
pass to a distant scene. England and Scotland had 

1 Gordon's Scots Affairs, i. 49, 50. 


early stage of the dispute we find the instinct of the 
Covenanters pointing to him as their natural enemy, 
but taking a moderate estimate of his power to hurt 
them. Strong he was, no doubt, in his own place ; 
but he was isolated by barriers not to be broken by 
any strength at his command. Roxburgh had alluded 
to danger in that quarter in a conversation with 
Eothes ; " whereto Eothes replied he would not give a 
salt citron for liim ; for two Fife lairds could keep 
him from crossing Dundee Ferry, and half-a-dozen 
Angus lairds could keep him from crossing the Cairn 
o' Month ; that three parts of his name is decayed, 
and he wants the two sheriffships." ^ This is an allu- 
sion to the discountenance of the house of Huntly by 
the Court of King Charles, and especially to the re- 
moval out of its hands of the sheriftship of Aberdeen 
and the sheriftship of Inverness. 

But, if we may credit one who had good means of 
knowing what he said, though the Covenanting chief 
thus slighted Huntly 's power, the party had made 
zealous efforts to secure him as an ally. Had they 
done so, all Scotland would have been theirs before 
the war had begun ; for the commu.nity of Aberdeen, 
even if a few zealous lairds in the neighbourhood had 
joined them, could not have made even a show of 
resistance. The young Huntly had been brought up 
a Protestant, so that no impassable gulf lay between 
him and the Presbyterians, as in his father's day. 
Colonel Robert Monro, one of the Scotsmen from the 
German wars who had taken service with the Cove- 
nanters, was sent as their ambassador to Strathbogie. 
The offers intrusted to him were great : " The sum 

1 Relation, 62, 63. 


of his commission to Huntly was, that the noblemen 
Covenanters were desirous that he should join with them 
in the common cause ; that if he would do so, and 
take the Covenant, they would give him the first place, 
and make him leader of their forces ; and further, 
they would make his state and his fortunes greater 
than ever they were ; and, moreover, they should pay 
off and discharge all his debts, which they knew to be 
about ane hundred thousand pounds sterling : that 
their forces and associates were a hundred, to one with 
the king ; and therefore it was to no purpose to him 
to take up arms against them, for if he refused his 
offer and declared against them, they should find 
means to disable him for to help the king ; and, 
moreover, they knew how to undo him ; and bade 
him expect that they will ruinate his family and 

The reception given by the new marquess to this 
alternative is told in thorough keeping with the 
chivalrous character of his father : " To this proposi- 
tion Huntly gave a short and resolute repartee, that 
his family had risen and stood by the kings of Scot- 
land ; and for his part, if the event proved the ruin 
of this king, he was resolved to lay his life, honours, 
and estate under the rubbish of the king his ruins. 
But withal thanked the gentleman who had brought 
the commission and had advised him thereto, as pro- 
ceeding from one whom he took for a friend and good- 
wilier, and urged out of a good intention to him." ^ 

To note the source whence the chief secular 
strength on the other side was to be drawn we must 
pass to a distant scene. England and Scotland had 

1 Gordon's Scots Affairs, i. 49, 50. 


been for many years at peace both ^vith each other 
and with the rest of the world. Tlirongh the affair of 
the PaLatinate, Britain seemed to be drifting into the 
mighty contests of the Continent. Here, and in the 
affair of La Rochelle, the peaceful or timid policy of 
King James kept his dominions out of war, and brought 
on him the reproach of acting the unnatural father and 
the indifferent Protestant. The Continent was shaken 
by the longest and bloodiest war of modern ages. This 
island seemed to stand serenely aloof from all its 
horrors ; l^ut it was yet to be seen that the Thirty 
Years' War and its effects would not pass away without 
leaving a mark on the destinies of Britain. In fact 
the winding up of that war threw loose the materials 
that were to revive into the civil wars of Britain. 
A political axiom of Chesterfield's that seems always 
the more accurate the more one reflects on it was, 
that " the Peace of Westphalia is the foundation of all 
subsequent treaties." Even the later readjustment of 
the map of Eurojje at the treaty of Vienna scarcely 
modifies this character. The great treaty itself was not 
yet concluded, but the armies were breaking up, and the 
war was drawing towards the end. The time was yet 
distant when Scotland was to reap, in improved in- 
dustry and enlarged riches, the fruit of a good under- 
standing with England. The country was still depen- 
dent on foreign enterprise for the employment of its 
more restless spirits. They were to be found scattered 
through the armies on both sides of the great war, but 
chiefly on the Protestant side. Gustavus Adolphus, 
who knew Avell what went to make a good soldier, 
courted them to his standard. It is impossible to 
approach by an estimate the number of Scots who thus 


swarmed out of tlie country in the various leaguers. 
Gustavus is said to have had ten thousand at his dis- 
posal. That altogether the Scots troopers were a 
large element in the war we may gather from the 
strength of specific reinforcements. Thus in 1 626 went 
forth the small army called Mackay's Regiment, said 
at the time to be four thousand strong, whose deeds 
have been recorded by their leader, Colonel Robert 
Monro. Raising these troops was private venture ; 
but King Charles gave his benediction and a contri- 
bution of £2000 to the cause, doing so much to 
strengthen the hand that was to be his enemy's. In 
1631 there was another reinforcement of six thousand 
men to the Protestant host. When the items of rein- 
forcing parties were on a scale like this, it is easy to 
see how strong a body of Scots trained soldiers the 
Thirty Years' War left available.^ 

As the great armies on both sides gradually broke 
up, Europe became sorely infested with ruffians. Not 
within the memory of man had soldiers been so long 
and ceaselessly inured to the great game of war, and 
had so few opportunities for seeing and acquiring the 
pursuits of industrial life. While the roads through- 
out Germany swarmed with robbers, the Scots found 
that a congenial theatre of exertion was opening for 
them at home. They brought with them a wonderful 
experience. Never before had such rapid progress 
been made in the converse arts of destruction and 
defence. All operations as to fortified places, even in 
England — and of course more thoroughly in Scot- 
land — were mere play beside the operations in which 

^ For more information on this subject the author refers to his Scot 
Abroad, ii. 134 et seq. See, too, Chambers's Domestic Annals, ii. 10, 55. 


these men had taken part. Round some small town 
in the Low Countries there might be as much appa- 
ratus of fortification as all the fortified places in Scot- 
land could furnish. Almost all the elements of war 
— defences, artillerj^, small-arms, drilling, and disci- 
pline — had been readjusted with a vast increase of effi- 
ciency. The possession of a few thousands of her sons 
thus trained gave Scotland the advantage over Eng- 
land which a country with a standing army has over 
the country which can only bring raw recruits into 
action. From the fugitive nature of the Scottish 
feudal array, the opportunities which other nations, in- 
cluding England, had of keeping troops embodied for 
a longer period, had been telling against Scotland in 
the fortunes of war. Now a concurrence of afi"airs, in ■ 
which Scotland as a nation seemed to have no concern, 
had changed the balance. At the same time, while 
England had been brought under the reign of law and 
order, Scotland had elements of dispeace which com- 
pelled the citizen to be a soldier. The English coun- 
try gentleman lived, as we have seen, in a mansion ; 
but the Scots laird still required the protection of a 
fortress. The Scots Borderers had not been as yet 
completely quieted, and the Highlanders had become 
more formidable than ever as reivers. Such were the 
conditions which rendered Scotland strong, and regard- 
less of the threats which found their way northwards. 
In the midst of the supplications, protestations, and 
other wordy warfare following on the first outbreak, 
it is a significant incident that General Alexander 
Leslie comes over from Sweden "in a small bark," 
having thus evaded a shij) of war, which might have 
intercepted him had he come in a more conspicuous 


shape. This Leslie — not to be confounded with his 
nepheAv David — was not a man of high military 
genius. He had worked, however, in half the mighty 
battles and sieges of the Thirty Years' War, and was so 
accomplished in all the military mechanism brought to 
perfection in that long contest, that no one who had 
spent his clays at home in England or Scotland could 
have a chance against him in the field, or compete 
with him for the command of an army. It was said 
that, unconscious of the destiny awaiting him, he had 
come to spend his old age in peaceful retirement, and 
that he had to this end. purchased an estate in Fife- 
shire, in the midst of his kindred, or those whom he 
chose to claim as such.^ But a casual word dropped 
by the well-informed Baillie shows that when he 
arrived, during the sitting of the Assembly, he had 
been preparing for other things ; for he had " caused 
a great number of our commanders in Germany sub- 
scribe our Covenant, and provided much good muni- 
tion." 2 

So early as the month of June, one of the grievances 
of which the Tables complained was an interruption 
of the commerce of Scotland by vessels of war sailing 
under the English flag, and by the interference of the 

■^ Spalding, who did not highly esteem him, says : " There came out of 
Germany from the wars liome to Scotland ane gentleman of base birth, 
born in Balveny, who had served long and fortunately in the German 
wars, and called by the name of Felt-Marschal Leslie — his excellence. 
His name, indeed, was Alexander Leslie, but by his valour and good luck 
attained to this title ' his excellence,' inferior to none but to the King of 
Sweden, under whom he served among all his cavalry. Well, this Felt- 
Marschal Leslie, having conquest [acquired] from nought honour and 
wealth in great abundance, resolved to come home to his native country 
of Scotland, and settle him beside his chief the Earl of Rothes." — 
Memorials of the Troubles, i. 130. 

2 Letters, i. 111. 


Estates of Holland, which, at the request of the king's 
English ambassador there, had set an embargo on 
certain merchandise bought by Scots traders in Am- 
sterdam. The excuse made for this interference was, 
that the goods in question were arms and other muni- 
tions of war. This could not be denied. One of 
the agents in whose hands the goods were intercepted 
makes explanations about having "prepared some 
five hundred muskets and as many pikes, and paid 
custom for them ; that he had put them in a ship, 
with some two hundred muskets besides, that he had 
not paid custom for."^ Still the Tables maintained 
that they were free to buy what goods they pleased, 
and it was a wrong done to interrupt their commerce. 
This was at the time when they had themselves 
placed guards to intercept any munitions that might 
be conveyed to Edinburgh Castle. There was much 
scornful ridicule cast at the grievances of these mer- 
chants whose commerce was interrupted in the matter 
of preparing to make war upon their king ; and the 
whole is characteristic of that curious position ever 
taken by the Covenanters — that they were loyal sub- 
jects, all along performing their duty to their king 
and country. 

Ere this time the Covenanters were in possession 
pf a revenue. A project for a " contribution " appears 
among their papers so early as the month of February 
1638.^ In the beginning of March a sum amounting to 
670 dollars is subscribed by thirty-seven of the leaders. 
The name of INIontrose appears at the head of the list, 
put down for 25 dollars, the highest rate of contribu- 
tion — the scale beini'- from 10 to 2.5 dollars. At the 


^ Rothes's Relation, 170. ^ Ibid., 72. 


same time an arrangement was completed for levying 
a tax over all Scotland : " It was resolved anent the 
contribution that eight shall be appointed collectors 
in every shire, according to one dollar the thousand 
marks of free-rent, as they can try, taking the party's 
declaration whether it be more or less. The contribu- 
tion is voluntary, and every one must be valued as 
they are pleased voluntarily to declare the worth of 
their free-rent. The half of the contribution raised in 
ilk shire must be delivered to John Smith, and after 
the same is spent to send for the other half."^ Of 
this contribution, which was to be merely voluntary, 
and to be given according to the giver's estimate of 
his means, it may be said that it was a tax exacted to 
the last penny with a rigid uniformity unknown before 
either in England or Scotland, unless, indeed, it might 
be said that in the exaction of ship-money the English 
Council had achieved a like exactness. The committee 
appointed to collect this tax in each county after- 
wards obtained the appropriate title of "the War 

So stood Scotland when, on the 21st of November 
1638, the General Assembly opened in the cathedral 
church of Glasgow. A second time that community, 
which abjured all pomp and all attempt to draw 
influence from external conditions, was fortunate in a 
fitting stage for the enactment of a grand drama. Had 
it been a great council of the old Church that was to 
assemble, it could not have found any other building 
in Scotland so well suited for the solemn occasion by 

^ Eothes's Kelation, 80, 81. 

2 See the " Minute book kept l)y the War Committee of the Cov- 
enanters in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in the years 1640 and 
1641;" KirkcudbriL'ht, 1855. 


supplying conditions of time-lionoured ecclesiastical 
magnificence. It was the only great church in Scot- 
land which had suffered nothing save the removal or 
destruction of the apparatus for the mass and the 
other decorations held to savour of idolatry. It was 
a meeting eminently solemn. Of the general councils 
of the old Church, hallowed by the presence of digni- 
taries whose rank made them princes over all Christen- 
dom, and adorned by every superfluity of pomp, few 
were so momentous in their influence as this gathering 
together, in a small corner of Christian Europe, of a 
body of men acknowledging no grades of superiority, 
and indulging in none of the pomps which were the 
usual companions and symbols of greatness.^ 

■■ There is a story told liy Spottiswood how the magistrates of Glas- 
gow had agreed to sacrifice the cathedral to Andrew Melville and others 
of the clergy as " a monument of idolatry," but that the city mob rose 
and protected the Ijuilding. Dr M'Crie said he could find no contem- 
porary trace of such an event ; and where he was baffied in such a pur- 
suit nobody else need attempt it. He says : " I never met with any- 
thing in the public or private writings of Mehdlle, or of any minister 
contemporary with him, that gives the smallest ground for the conclusion 
that they looked upon catliedral churches as monuments of idolatrj', or 
that they would have advised their demolition on this ground." — 
"Works, ii. 39. The Cathedi-al of St Mungo o^ved its preservation to the 
wealth and liberality of the community of Glasgow. The other churches 
which rivalled or excelled it — Elgin, St Andrews, the Abbey Church of 
Arbroath, and others — fell to pieces through poverty. Tlie Church of 
St Mungo was never completed, but its fabric was sustained in the con- 
dition in which the Reformation found it. Neglect had begun to work 
on it, and, as in other neglected buildings, the materials available for 
sordid purposes had begun to disappear. After fruitless attempts to 
obtain funds from the proper revenues of the see, on the 21st of October 
1574, the provost and council, with the deans of the craft and other 
public-spirited citizens, held a meeting, the result of which is thus 
recorded : " Having respect and consideration to the great decay and 
ruin that the High Kirk of Glasgow has come to through taking away 
of the lead, slate, and other graith thereof in the troublous time bygone, 
so that such a great monument will alluterly fall down and decay with- 


The opening of the Assembly of 1638 may fairly 
vie with that of the Long Parliament as a momentous 
historical event. It was the earlier in time. Had it 
not been, perhaps the Long Parliament also might not 
have been. At that juncture, so far as England alone 
was concerned, the looker-on would have said that the 
Court would prevail, and that without a struggle. 
The organisation for the collection of ship-money got 
the prerogative out of its only remaining difficulty — 
the supply of money capable of supporting a standing- 
army. All things had the aspect of a monarchy 
serene and absolute, such as Englishmen knew only 
from specimens on the other side of the Channel. 
This General Assembly takes precedence in history as 
the first meeting of a body existing by constitutional 
sanction, yet giving defiance to the Court. It assem- 
bled under royal authority, the king being through 
his Commissioner an element of its constitution. 

But memorable as this Assembly is for its influence 
over the history of the coming times, it stands not less 
memorable as a monument of the fallacy of human 
calculations. The power it achieved not only fulfilled 
the expectations of its promoters, but realised, or even 
exceeded, the wildest dreams of the most enthusiastic 
among them. They felt as if the Almighty were 
leading them on to absolute triumph, when, by a 

out it be remedied, and because the helping thereof is so great and will 
extend to more nor they may spare, and that they are not addebted to 
the upholding and repairing thereof by law, yet of their own freewill 
uncompelled, and for the zeal they bear to the Kirk, of mere alms and 
liberality, all in one voice consented to a tax and imposition of two 
hundred pounds money to be taxed and paid by the township and free- 
men thereof, for helping to repair the said kirk and holding it water- 
fast." — Burgh Records of the City of Glasgow, Maitland Club. 


mysterious and scarce perceptible agency, the great 
power of wliicli they were a portion was turned to 
purposes utterly adverse to their designs. No doubt 
they did not expect by their own human ^^olicy to 
execute the great things that were to be done ; but 
another form of presumption was visited upon them, 
when they acted as those specially selected to accom- 
plish the policy of the Euler of all things. A mighty 
potentate of modern days said to his people, " We 
are with God, and God is with us ; " and the words 
of assurance had scarcely spread among them ere 
shame and ruin overtook both speaker and audience. 
This is but one of the forms in which presumptuous 
men give their command to that future which will not 
obey them. The history of the coming struggle gives 
many instances in which the very confidence of suc- 
cess seemed to achieve it. But, on the other hand, it 
shows many others where the power created by such 
confidence turned against its possessor ; and this As- 
sembly was one of them. 

This great council was not unadorned by rank and 
pompous ceremonial, but all of this was secular. The 
Lord High Commissioner, the Marquess of Hamilton, 
sat on a canopied throne, surrounded by the chief 
ofiicers of State. There were seventeen peers and a 
large body of powerful territorial barons, who, as lay 
elders, were members of the Assembly. To these a 
place of honour was conceded — they sat at a long 
table running down the centre of the church, while 
the ministers were content to occupy seats running in 
tiers up on either side. Above, in one of the aisles 
apparently, there was a stage for young nobles and 
men of rank not members of the Assembly, "with 


huge numbers of people, ladies, and some gentlewomen 
in the vaults above." There were one hundred and 
forty ecclesiastical and one hundred lay members. 
Among the ecclesiastics there were no bishops or 
dignitaries, for a reason presently to be seen ■ — ■ all 
were simple Ministers of the Word. 

The presence of the powerful body of laymen on 
this occasion naturally opens up the topic of a long 
and acrid controversy about the constitution of the 
Assembly. On the Cavalier and Episcopal side, it 
was maintained not to be a free and fair Assembly. 
There were denunciations of partiality in the organisa- 
tion for the selection of its members, especially of the 
lay elders. Such disputes will ever occur, but there 
is no use of blurring history with them. We know 
that whatever the standard of the political morality 
of the time permits people to do for their party, that 
they will do — nay, they must do it, under the pain 
of being denounced as weak or perhaps treacherous. 
The Court had power to serve its own ends in the 
other Assemblies held in Perth and Aberdeen, and 
they freely used the power. The Covenanters were 
now masters of the situation, and they resolved to 
hold a Covenanting Assembly. No one was to be a 
member of it who had not taken the Covenant, and 
remained true to that symbol of his faith. An at- 
tempt was made to modify the severity of the qualifi- 
cation by a recourse to the old Covenant or Confession 
of 1580, and so omitting the bitter supplemental 
document which brought the terms of that Covenant 
to bear on the new grievances. But this was strenu- 
ously and fiercely resisted. For a true Covenanter to 
sign it, was likened to the " horrible impiety " of one 


who had given his faith both to the Old and the New 
Testament, " to sign only the Old for fear of displeas- 
ing a Jewish magistrate who neglects the New." ^ 

The Tables undertook the working of the elections, 
so as to produce a thoroughly Covenanting Assembly. 
They resolved to go back upon an Act of Assembly 
of the year 1597, which required each presbytery to 
elect two clergymen and one lay elder, while the 
royal burghs sent lay commissioners — Edinburgh two, 
and the others one each. It was thus that the Lords 
and other lay leaders of the Covenant came in. There 
was some slight discord between the clerical " Table " 
and the others on this point. The clergy could not 
but see that this nominally rigid adherence to their 
standards was transferring them into the hands of 
new masters. They could not be blind to the reason 
why the office destined for men of a religious turn 
and serious walk in life was wanted for a haughty 
powerful nobility, many of them profligate livers. 
Among them, indeed, were men fighting their own 
personal battle for the preservation of the old ecclesi- 
astical estates, which they believed to be in clanger — 
all had a personal dislike of the bishops, as assuming 
a superiority over them. But it was in such men that 
the strength of the Assembly as a hostile declaration 
against the Court lay, and they prevailed in the 

The Tables sent instructions to the constituencies — 
some of a public character known at the time, others 
of a more secret kind, which have only lately seen 
the light. In these, provision was made for striking a 
simple but decisive blow against the bishops. They 

1 Jlonteth's Historj- of the Troubles, 29. 


were all to be put on trial before the Assembly as 
criminals, therefore they could not be members of 
the Assembly, since it was the tribunal before which 
they were to be tried. To carry this exclusion into the 
lower grades of the Church, a minister was to be dis- 
qualified from election if any one should bring a pro- 
cess against him as " erroneous in doctrine or scandal- 
ous in life." As a criterion for choosing the right 
men, presbyteries were carefully to avoid " Chapter 
men who have chosen bishops, those who have sitten 
upon the High Commission, chapel men who have 
countenanced the chapel ceremonies and novations, 
all who have offered to read and practice the Service- 
book, the Book of Canons, and ministers who are jus- 
tice of peace." The Tables supplied the presbyteries 
with forms of commission to be given to their repre- 
sentatives, and other guidance for the transaction of 
business. These instructions were accompanied by 
a letter attuned to the exuberant piety of the time 
and place. Besides the clerical members of the Tables, 
it bore the signatures of the lay chiefs, Montrose, as 
usual, taking the lead.^ He afterwards, with charac- 
teristic rashness, brought some scandal on the Assem- 
bly by avowing and hotly supporting the approval of 
a candidate by the Tables, as if it gave his election a 
legal sanction.^ 

A General Assembly was now a novelty, and indeed 
there had been no precedent for one like this. Such a 
body, before putting itself in working order, naturally 
went through a preliminary phase of confusion and 
mixed disputation. The old national practice of 
" protestation " was so amply exercised, that, as Bail- 

' Baillie's Letters, i. 469 et seq. ^ Ibid., 133. 


lie says, all were " wearied with tlie multitude of pro- 
testations but the clerk, who with every one received 
a piece of gold." The superior weight of the more 
zealoi;s party carried all points, and they succeeded 
in the election of Alexander Henderson as moderator 
— " a moderator without moderation," as Laud called 
him, in one of his efforts to be witty. Johnston of 
Warriston was the clerk, and thus became instructor 
and director in all things connected with form and 

When he took his chair of office, there came a little 
dramatic incident of Avhich he was the hero. In the 
long interval since Assemblies were held, the records 
of the Church since the Reformation down to the 
year 1590 had passed out of public sight. There was 
no one officially responsible for their custody, and 
there was a strong suspicion that they had got foul 
play at the hands of the Episcopal party and the 
Court. Johnston laid on the table certain volumes 
Avhich he maintained to be these veritable records — 
they had come into his possession " by the good pro- 
vidence of God." A committee of the House, after 
professing to have closely examined them, pronounced 
them to be the authentic recoi'd of the Kirk from the 
year 1560 to the year 1590.^ 

1 Baillie's Letters, 159, 1.39. This reporter of the business has thus 
recorded his pious joy at this auspicious incident : " It is one of the 
notable passages of God's providence towards our Churcli, that these 
books were not destroyed or put in hands whence we should never have 
drawn them ; this forty years bygone so great a desire being in the 
hearts of the prince and prelates for covering in perpetual darkness of 
our old Assemblies which crossed their intentions : so great negligence 
on our parts to keep these monuments, that no man among us, so far as I 
could ever hear, knew what was become of these books, but all took it 
for granted that they were in St Andrews' possession, who would be loath 


There was a logical difficulty about these first steps. 
The validity of the elections had to be tried. How, 
then, could those present elect office-bearers until it 
was known whether they themselves were legal meni- 

ever to let them go, or any true doiible of them ; yet God has brought 
them out, and set them up now at the door of our Church, to be the 
rule, after Scripture, of this Assemblie and all their proceedings." — 
P. 139. 

It was the fate of these books afterwards to pass through a career as 
remarkable in the unexpected strangeness of its incidents as any that 
has enabled people to discover that Providence has been specially at 
work to create the result which pleases themselves. In this branch of 
their career, however, the problem of a special providence would re- 
quire to be solved from the other side, since the end was not the special 
preservation, but the special destruction, of the books. When the civil 
war began it was thought prudent to have a duplicate made of the 
records, and place each record in a place of safety. One was preserved 
in Dumbarton, the other in the fortress of the Bass. This latter was 
removed to London, with other Scots records, by the Government of the 
Commonwealth. What became of it is not precisely known, but it 
is believed to have been lost, along -with other records, on their way to 
Scotland, in a vessel ship-\^Tecked in the year 1660. The Dumbarton 
copy passed from its official custodier to his representative, as private 
property. It fell into the hands of Archibald Campbell, a member of 
the Argyle family, and a clergyman of the nonjuring Episcopal Church 
of Scotland . in Queen Anne's reign. Mr Campbell was an eccentric 
man, and a collector of rare books and manuscripts, and it was in this 
character that he professed to take an interest in the records. He tantal- 
ised the Church authorities in Scotland with offers to restore them on 
conditions which were pronounced preposterous. In the end, according 
to a statement by Principal Lee, " Mr Campbell, as he had sometimes 
threatened to do, took a step which was intended to put the books for 
ever beyond the reach of the Church of Scotland, by entering into a 
deed of trust or covenant with the President and Fellows of Sion College, 
the terms of which do not appear to be accurately known to any mem- 
ber of the Church of Scotland, but the effect of which has undoubtedly 
been to detain these records from their lawful owners for nearly a cen- 
tury past." This was written in the year 1828. In the winter of 18.34, 
Principal Lee was examined by a select committee of the House of 
Commons on patronage in Scotland. He desired to refer to these 
records, and the all-potent order of the committee brought them to St 
Stephen's. They were in the charge of an officer of the college, who 
expected to take them back when they were no longer needed for the 

VOL. Vlt. B 


bers of Assembly ? On the other hand, how could 
these nice questions be tried by a chaotic multitude 
without an official staft"? The practical sense, so 
conspicuous in the tactic of large assemblages in this 
country, adjusted the difficulty. Let the arrangement 
be made provisionally — when the Assembly has ad- 
justed itself, it can rejudge its choice. Down to the 
28th, election disputes were busily discussed and 
promptly settled in favour of the prevailing party. 
One of the questions the most promptly settled among 
all was of a fundamental character. A body of the 
clergy gave in a protestation against the admission 
of lay elders ; but this admitted not of discussion, for 
it was equivalent to a repudiation of the Assembly 

Through all this business the commissioner waited 
patiently. On the 29th, when the Assembly, having 
put itself in order, was to begin its work, it was 
known that the royal countenance was to be with- 
drawn. There was a desultory conversation about 
the position taken on both sides, involving the ques- 
tions of clerical independence and royal supremacy, 
which had been so j^rofusely reiterated. The com- 
missioner then delivered a parting address, stating in 
a more technical and specific manner those grounds 
on which he could no longer give the royal counte- 
nance to the meeting. They came under two prin- 

time ; but lie was told that " the committee wished the books to lie upon 
the table for their inspection, and that the committee would send for 
him when they wished them to be returned." But before he was sent 
for the Houses of Parliament were burned, and tlie records in them. 
See the prefaces to the two editions of " the Book of the Universal Kii-k." 
This title was given to a book often cited in these pages, in which a 
worthy attempt was made to supply the substance of the lost records 
from other and incidental sources. 


cipal heads — first, the constitution of the Assembly, 
in so far as lay elders were admitted ; second, the 
form of the business before it, in as far as it professed 
to hold authority over bishops, and deliberate on the 
validity of the Episcopal office. A proclamation was 
then published at the market-cross. It was more 
diffuse than the commissioner's speech, going over 
again the whole c|uarrel from the beginning, and 
especially enlarging on the dictatorial conduct of the 
Tables. It forbade all farther meetings of the Assem- 
bly, and required all the individual members " to 
depart furth of this city of Glasgow within the space 
of twenty-four hours, and to repair home to their own 
houses, or that they go about their private affairs in a 
quiet manner." There was, of course, the usual in- 
evitable protestation, and the business in hand went on. 
The commissioner's departure was accompanied by 
an event deemed sufficiently propitious to balance the 
loss. Among the secondary questions about the con- 
stitution of the Assembly, one arose on a proposal that 
the officers of State and some other men of high rank 
who attended the commissioner should have votes in 
the Assembly as " assessors." One of these was 
Archibald, Earl of Argyle. He was thirty years old. 
His father, who had died in the spring of 1638, 
professed the old Church. By the letter of the law 
the heir Avas entitled to enjoy the estates of his Papist 
father, and it was said by his enemies that he entered 
on possession in his father's lifetime. But that was an 
affair of the past ; he had now fully succeeded to the 
honours and to the estates, or rather dominions, of his 
house. His following, estimated by mere numbers, was 
the greatest in Scotland — greater than even Huntly's. 


It was rumoured tliat he could bring five thousand 
men into the field. He was counted among those 
favourable to the Covenant, but he was not yet a Cov- 
enanter. He took the opportunity, before Hamilton's 
farewell, to address the Assembly. He said he had been 
sent there by the king, but he had impartially watched 
their proceedings as a neutral person. " I have not," 
he said, " striven to blow the bellows, but studied to 
keep matters in as soft a temper as I could ; and now 
I desire to make it known to you, that I take you all 
for members of a lawful Assembly and honest country- 
men." He had himself, as yet, only, like others of the 
Court, put his hand to the old Confession without the 
protestation against the recent innovations ; but that 
he had gone only so far was not to be imputed to him 
as disloyal to the Covenant. Some other nobles came 
forward in the same condition — they had signed the 
" King's Confession," as it was called, but they were 
true Covenanters — among these, Montrose, who was a 
busy member of the Assembly, proclaimed the names 
of the Earl of Mar and his own relation, Lord Napier. 
The departure of the commissioner gave no inter- 
ruption to the weighty afi'airs on hand. The first 
business of moment completed by the Assembly was 
the repeal or annulling of the Acts of preceding As- 
semblies from 1606 downwards, including the Five 
Articles of Perth. Then the Service-book, the Book of 
Canons, and the Book of Ordination were severally 
repudiated, for reasons of which enough has been seen 
to render repetition unnecessary. Then came the great 
scene of the trial of the bishops and their " declina- 
ture." This was a document in which at some length 
the bishops protested against the power of the Assembly 


to deal with them, a doctrine for which men in their 
position could find many obvious reasons. The 
Presbyterian Church of Scotland, in the practice of its 
judicatories, has ever sought the principle, that judicial 
proceedings are to begin in the lower and find their 
way up to the higher courts. On the present occasion 
they were true to the spirit of this principle. The 
"libel" or indictment against the bishops was first 
laid before the Presbytery of Edinburgh, who referred 
it to the Assembly. By discounting the Articles of 
Perth and the several laws recently passed for the re- 
storation of Episcopacy as all being null, there was 
ample opportunity to show that, both in the titles and 
powers they adopted, and in the ceremonials which 
they practised, the bishops had acted against the laws 
of the Church. But it has ever been the good fortune 
of those who have from time to time raised a war of 
extermination against bishops, to find that they are all 
so vicious in their lives as to render unnecessary any 
discussion of doctrines and ceremonies as a means of 
driving them from the Church. The Tables sent 
clown to the several presbyteries a list of the crimes 
which it was desirable to prove against bishops — a 
list which has the merit of distinctness, in the use of 
terms from which the decorum of modern literature 
shrinks. As Baillie remarks, with exulting candour, 
on his way to join the conclave in Edinburgh, "No 
kind of crime which can be gotten proven of a bishop 
will now be concealed."^ The Bishop of Dunblane 
being denounced as a corrupter of the people by the 
spread of Arminianism, and an agent of Canterbury's, 
there follows the remark, " What drunkenness, swear- 

^ Letters, i. 105. 


ing, or other crimes was libelled, I do not remember;" ^ 
as if these things must have been charged as a matter 
of form, although the fact is forgotten. 

It seems to have been felt that to speak of a virtu- 
ous bishop was a logical contradiction, as if one should 
say an honest swindler or a moral gambler. Guthrie, 
Bishop of ]Moray, had, we are told, " all the ordinary 
faults of a bishop, besides his boldness to be the first 
who put on his sleeves in Edinburgh." " There was 
objected against him," continues Baillie, "but, as I 
suspect, not sufficiently proven, his countenancing of 
a vile dance of naked women in his own house, and 
of women going barefooted on pilgrimages not far 
from his dwelling." " It would seem, indeed, as if 
the idolatry of the old Church, sensuality, and pro- 
fanity were deemed natural companions, each helping 
and promoting the others. The Bishop of Edinburgh 
was " a bower to the altar, a wearer of the rochet, a 
consecrator of churches," and, as a natural accompani- 
ment of such practices, he " made no bones of swear- 
ing and cursino;." ^ 

The end was, that of the fourteen prelates six were 
simply deposed, eight were deposed and excommuni- 
cated. The moderator uttered the sentences against 
them in a sermon, having for its text, " The Lord 
said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I 
make thine enemies thy footstool." The bystander so 
often quoted has these notes and reflections on the occa- 
sion : " Thereafter in a very dreadful and grave manner 
he pronounced these sentences as ye have them in print. 
My heart was filled with admii-ation of the power and 
justice of God, who can bring down the highest and 

1 Letters, i. 108. = Ibid., 164. » Ibid., 161. 


pour shame on them, even in this world, suddenly, by 
a means utterly unexpected, who will sin against Him 
proudly with a uplifted hand. And withal I heartily 
pitied those who Avere excommunicate, remembering 
the great gifts of some and eminent places of all, 
whence their ambition and avarice had pvilled them 
down to the dunghill of contempt." ^ 

The sentence of excommunication placed the poor 
men in great peril. By the letter of the law the ex- 
communicated person could hold no civil rights — he 
was an outlaw. When the ecclesiastical courts were 
at enmity with the executive this might be an empty 
threat, but now those who had thundered the excom- 
munications had the power of all. As a body the 
bishops sought refuge in England, throwing themselves 
in utter wretchedness on the charity of their party there, 
who were themselves in anxiety and peril. There was 
a general clearing off of the Episcopal party among 
the ordinary clergy, and it helped on the work of 
weedino; that the Church was to contain within its 
bosom no clergy who had not sufficient parochial work 
to occupy their time. 

After transacting a crowd of other affairs, chiefly for 
the reconstruction of the Presbyterian Church courts, 
and interesting only to those who have to deal with 
these tribunals, this renowned Assembly dispersed on 
the 20th of December.^ 

A change now comes over the spirit of our history. 
A few casual controversies may continue to interrupt 

1 Letters, i. 168. 

'' The test collection of materials for the history of the Assembly of 
1638 is to he found in Peterkin's 'Records of the Kirk of Scotland, 
containing the Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies from 
the year 1638 downwards.' 


the path ; but we are now free of that complex laby- 
rinth of political and polemical wrangling which has 
to be traced through the dense mass of State papers 
and pamphlets of the day, and we come forth into the 
open field of war. The sword was first drawn in the 
north — Scot against Scot. Between the signing of 
the Covenant and the holding of the Assemlily, the 
Tables had determined to subdue the city of Al^erdeen 
and the district around it, and to compel the peo23le 
there to sign the Covenant. A committee of clergymen, 
with the Earl of Montrose as their leader or chairman, 
was sent northwards to deal with these uncovenanted 
people. There were among the clergy three eminent 
men — the great Henderson, David Dickson, and 
Andrew Cant, a clergyman of Aberdeenshire, whose 
zeal for the Covenant appears to have been heated 
and hardened by the antagonistic pressure of his 
prelatical neighbours. The capital of the north was 
famous for its hospitality, and every distinguished 
stranger was welcomed by the corporation to a wine- 
banquet, or " cup of bon-accord," as it was termed, 
in tlie words of the motto on the corporation arms. 
When this hospitality was offered to the new visitors 
it was " disdainfully refused." They would not have 
fellowship with the uncovenanted. " They would 
drink none with them till first the Covenant was sub- 
scribed." This was an insult " whereof the like Avas 
never done to Aberdeen in no man's memory." The 
materials for the feast were distributed among the 
city paupers, a disposal which had a touch of disdain 
in it.^ 

The three clerical commissioners desired to occupy 

^ Spalding's Memorials, i. 91, 92. 


the city pulpits next Sunday, but the clergymen to 
whom these belonged thought fit to use them for their 
own ordinary ministrations. The visitors had one im- 
portant supporter in the district, the Earl Marischal, 
whose winter hotel was in the centre of the town, and 
in the place now known as Marischal Street. The 
house had wooden benches or galleries in front, and 
there the three ministers preached in succession, judi- 
ciously occupying the intervals between the regular 
church services. The community of this isolated 
district, with the group of scholars belonging to its 
cathedral and colleges, and its Episcopalian tastes, was 
liker to one of the smaller cathedral towns of Eng- 
land than any other part of Scotland was. Hence 
the ways of the new-comers were as strange and pecu- 
liar there as they would have been in Canterbury.^ 
The strangers had a considerable audience, but an 
audience neither sympathetic nor reverential. So 
each party, with very little trouble, had managed to 
cast tokens of bitter desjjite at the other. 

The strife Avhich had thus been sown first broke 
forth in print. The attack was begun by six of the 
Aberdeen clergy — John Forbes of Corse ; Robert Baron, 
Professor of Divinity ; Alexander Scrogie ; William 
Leslie, Principal of King's College ; John Sibbald, and 
Alexander Ross. They were all men of ability and 
learning ; but three of their names had a wide renown 
— Forbes, Baron, and Ross ; the last will perhaps be 
remembered more for its curious service in helping 
Butler to a two-syllabled rhyme, than for its owner's 
works, though they had in their day considerable re- 
nown. These began by issuing ' General Demands 

1 Spalding's Memorials, i. 92 ; Gordon's Soots Affairs, i. 84. 


concerning the late Covenant, propounded by the Min- 
isters and Professors of Divinity in Aberdeen to some 
Reverend Brethren who came thither to recommend 
the late Covenant to them, and to those who were com- 
mitted to their charge.' The controversy spread over 
several papers on both sides ; and the whole of them 
were arranged and printed by " the Aberdeen Doctors," 
as they were called, under the nomenclature of the 
stages in a suit of law. To the Demands there were 
" Answers," to these came " Eeplies " by the Doctors ; 
then second Answers, and finally " Duplies " by the 
Doctors. A piece of dry humour was no doubt in- 
tended in these titles ; but it is not likely to be en- 
joyed in the present day, nor are the papers in sub- 
stance very attractive. The position taken by the 
Doctors is the unassailable one of the dry sarcastic 
negative. AVhatever the Covenant might be — good or 
bad — and whatever right its approvers had to bind 
themselves to it, how were they entitled to force it 
on those who desired it not ? And when their adver- 
saries became eloquent on its conformity to Scripture 
and the privileges of the Christian Church, the Doctors 
ever went back to the same negative position — even if 
it were so, which we do not admit, yet why force it 
upon lis ? ^ 

^ Tlie " Doctors " had the gratification to receive from the king a 
brief but favourable criticism of their part in tlie controversy. They 
were commended for tlieir loyal service, and particularly for " hindering 
some strange ministers" from preaching in their churches. The king 
said he had not had time to consult some of their own profession, whose 
judgment he p)roposed to ask on their merits ; but from his " own read- 
ing of them ■' — he does not say how far it had gone — he says, " we do hold 
them, both with learning and a peaceable moderate style, answerable to 
men of your profession and place."— Documents, Spalding's Memorials, 
i. 98, 99. 


The commissioners having canvassed the town and 
county of Aberdeen, retm-ned with a scanty list of 
adherents to the Covenant. It gradually increased, 
however ; for there was a political party there, as well 
as elsewhere, to whom it was convenient. Some who 
chafed rmder the power of the Gordons — such as the 
Frasers, the Forbeses, and the Keiths, whose chief, the 
Earl Marischal, had already helped the Covenanters — 
ultimately joined them, to the weakening of Huntly's 
power. Early in the year 1639, the Tables, who saw 
a greater war before them, resolved to deal, in the first 
place, with the malignants of the north, and relieve 
themselves from an enemy in the rear. A fine small 
army of some three or four thousand men was thus 
gathered and disciplined under the command of Mon- 
trose, w^th the experienced Leslie as his lieutenant. 
In February, and before it had been put in marching 
order, the commander heard that the few friends of 
his cause in Aberdeenshire were to meet in Turriff, on 
the border of Banffshire, then a market-town of some 
importance, but now a mere village. He heard, also, 
that the Gordons were to assemble in force to disperse 
them; and he resolved, by one of those bold and ori- 
ginal acts in which his strength lay, to protect his 
friends. Taking with him not quite two hundred men, 
he moved this light body, by the unfrequented drove- 
roads of the uplands, across the Grampians, by Fetter- 
cairn and the Cairn 0' Month, and had them placed 
behind the churchyard- wall of Turriff, as a breast-work 
to them, before the Gordons arrived. These were a 
large body — two thousand, it was said — with Huntly 
at their head. He, so far as the king was concerned, 
had been named the royal lieutenant in the north ; but 


lie shrank from then drawing the first bk)od, though 
he might have been secure of victory; and allowed the 
Covenanters to have their way. It was said that there 
was a policy in his abstinence. He had been instructed 
not to proclaim his lieutenancy until some great emer- 
gency occurred. The Turriff meeting was in the mid- 
dle of February, and he proclaimed his commission a 
month later. It was desirable that he should forbear 
until the royal forces were at hand, lest, if he came 
to issue with the strong army of the Covenanters 
while free to act, it might crush him, and extinguish 
the only available ally whom the royal army was to 
find in Scotland.^ At the same time, his authority was 
in an awkward position. His commission as lieuten- 
ant had been "stopped at the Seals." It had not 
received, and was not now likely to receive, official 
attestation, as sealed and certified by the proper Gov- 
ernment officers.^ Meanwhile the citizens of Aber- 
deen were fortifying their town, and the general tone 
of tacit menace in the district prompted the Tables to 
strike a blow in the north before their hands became 
full elsewhere. The force at their disposal was too 
overwhelming to be safely resisted. It is said that 
nine thousand marched northwards, and were joined 
by two thousand from those families who were 

' Gordon's Scots Affairs, ii. 2U1, 313, 314 ; Spalding's Memorials, i. 
145. " A commission for the lieutenancy of the north of Scotland was 
sent to the Marquis of Huntly ; but he was ordered to keep it up as long 
as possible, and carefully to observe two things. One was, not to be the 
first aggressor, except he were highly provoked, or his majesty's authority 
signally affronted; the other was, that he should keep oft' with long wea- 
pons till his majesty were on the Borders, lest, if he should begin sooner, 
the Covenanters might overwhelm him with their whole force, and either 
ruin him or force him to lay down his arms." — Burnet's Memoirs, 113. 

" Spalding's Memorials, i. 168. 


zealous against the house of Gordon, if not for the 

The town - clerk of Aberdeen, whose descriptive 
powers had probably been exercised on inventories of 
furniture and commodities, brings before our eyes this 
well-ordered army with a distinctness such as we 
often seek vainly in the pompous technical narratives 
of those who profess an acquaintance with military 
science. Perhaps his very ignorance of the apparatus 
of war, and the novelty of the sight, made its impres- 
sion on his mind all the clearer : " They came in order 
of battle, well armed, both on horse and foot, ilk horse- 
man having five shot at the least, where he had ane 
carbine in his hand, two pistols by his side, and other 
two at his saddle-tor. The pikemen in their ranks, with 
pike and sword ; the musketeers in their ranks, with 
musket, musket-staff, bandeleer, sword, powder, ball, 
and match. Ilk company, both on horse and foot, had 
their captains, lieutenants, ensigns, sergeants, and other 
officers and commanders, all for the most part in buffle 
coats and goodly order. They had five colours or en- 
signs, whereof the Earl of Montrose had one, having 
this motto drawn in letters, ' Foe. Religion, the Co- 
venant, AND THE Country.' The Earl Marisal had 
one, the Earl of Kinghorn had one, and the town of 
Dundee had two. They had trumpeters to ilk com- 
pany of horsemen, and drummers to ilk company of 
footmen. They had their meat, drink, and other pro- 
visions, bag and baggage, carried with them. — Done all 
by advice of his excellency Felt-Marshal Leslie, whose 
counsel General Montrose followed in this business. 
Now, in seemly order and good array, this army came 
forward and entered the burgh of Aberdeen about ten 


hours in the morning, at the Over-Kirkgate Port, syne 
came down through the Broadgate, through the Castle- 
gate, out at the Justice Port to the Queen's Links di- 
rectly." 1 

The Covenanting clergy now got possession of the 
Aberdeen pulpits, A\'here, in the month of April, they 
were al^le to proclaim against the bisliop the doom that 
had been pronounced in December. He and all other 
persons of note who would not take the Covenant had 
iled from the town. Those who remained submitted 
quietly to the test, whether with sincerity or not. All 
things were orderly. No plundering was allowed. 
The community were required to compel the suspic- 
ious people to furnish provisions, but they were paid 
for. A contribution of ten thousand marks was levied 
on the community at large, out of which the individ- 
ual creditors of the army were paid. The ten thou- 
sand marks were accepted as a dramatic surprise in 
relief from a penal impost of ten times the amount. 
The poor provost, when the first demand was made, 
said it was impossible to raise a hundred thousand 
marks. On this " the general nobly said : ' Since ye 
have subscribed our Covenant, we think us all but one ; 
therefore we will not take so great a sum from you, 
upon condition ye contribute with us in this our good 
cause since the beginning, and in time coming Avith 
men and moneys as occasion shall offer ; and in the 
mean time give up the names of your neighbours who 
have fled the town for fear of us, that we may plunder 
their goods at our pleasure during their absence, and 
likewise with all convenient speed to go fortify your 
blockhouse with men and cannon, and other necessaries 

' Spalding's Memorials, i. 154. 


for defence of foreign invasion, if it shall happen at the 
water-month ; and withal to lay us down ten thousand 
marks for support of our army's charges." ^ As appro- 
priate to Montrose's reasonable clemency, it must be 
noted that when Aberdeen sent commissioners to re- 
present the town at " the Tables," these laid a fine of 
forty thousand marks on their community " for their 
outstanding against them and their Covenant." ^ 

Argyle sent five hundred of his Highlanders to swell 
the Covenanting force in Aberdeen. It did not suit 
the policy of the commander at that time to be assisted 
by such inveterate marauders. He therefore stationed 
them where they could conveniently foray on the 
lands of the Irvines and other malignants. This was 
a happy arrangement. They were at hand in case of 
need, they supported themselves, and they chastised 
the enemy. When the business was completed, and a 
strong organisation established, it was deemed safe to 
bring them into quarters assigned to them in the city, 
with strong injunctions to abstain from mischief So, 
just before the departure of the main body of the army, 
they A^^ere marched from the ground, "where they 
wanted not abundance of beef, mutton, and other good 
fare for little pay, in order of battle, with bagpipes 
and Highland arms."^ On the 12th of April the 
infantry marched southwards imder Leslie ; and it is 
noted by the town-clerk, "Thus Felt Leslie marched 
upon Good Friday ; but in none of the Aberdeens was 
there preaching, as was used before upon Good Friday, 
according to the Perth Articles — such was the change 
of time." ^ 

1 Spalding's Memorials, i. 167. "" Ibid., 172. 

3 Ibid., 166. ' Ibid., 168. 


Himtlv, findiuo; that, unless he received aid from the 
king — and that -n-as now unlikely to come soon — he 
would speedily be overwhelmed, desired to make what 
terms he could with safety and honour, and proposed 
to hold a meeting with ^lontrose. They met twice 
in a place selected as safe for the purpose, each with 
eleven followers, and all armed no further than with 
the indispensable sword. Huntly \A'ished to conform 
to existing conditions without actually humiliating 
himself to sign the Covenant. He and his Protestant 
friends were content to acknowledge the old Confes- 
sions, and to subscribe a document maintainino- the 
king's authority, " together with the liberties both of 
Church and State — of religion and laws." He pro- 
posed a course for the co-operation even of the Papists 
of the north, " they subscribing a declaration of their 
willingness to concur with the C*ovenanters of main- 
tainino- the laws and liberties of the kingdom." ^ 

In point of policy this was a promising bargain to 
the Tables — it secured to them the neutrality, if not 
the active assistance, of the only force that could 
elFeetually trouble them at home in co-operation with 
an English invasion. How the zealous Covenanters 
might take it, and how Montrose, when he accepted 
the terms, counted upon their conduct, are among the 
smaller mysteries of history. 

It was desirable that, to complete the arrangements, 
Huntly should come to Aberdeen. He was now no 
longer an enemy, and the exceeding caution of the 
previous meetings was unnecessary. Still there might 
be quarrels and difficulties ; and he required a safe- 
conduct, insuring his life and liberty. It was signed 

1 Spa.ldm<,''s Memorials, i. 157, 160 ; Gordon's Scuts Affairs, ii. 233. 


by Montrose and some others.^ Huntly had been 
in Aberdeen some two or three days, hospitably enter- 
tained in the house of the Laird of Pitfodels, when he 
began to have an unpleasant sensation that his steps 
were watched and his abode guarded. When he 
sovxght an explanation, the end was that he found he 
was to be removed to Edinburgh. Nominally he 
went of his own freewill, but really as entirely a 
prisoner as the genteel criminal who, to save appear- 
ances, is permitted to drive with his captor in a car- 
riage to prison. On this transaction a question has 
been debated, whether, on the one hand, it was a bold 
stroke of treachery, devised and executed by Mon- 
trose ; or, on the other, it was a surrender of his own 
naturally honourable nature to the stronger and un- 
scrupulous will of Huntly's personal enemies. On 
neither side is there anything to found on better than 
the account of the town-clerk of Aberdeen, and the 
best that can be done for the reader is to give his story. 
He tells how Montrose asked the marquess to shake 
hands with the deadly enemy of his house, Fren- 
draught, and put several other points, which are called 
" frivolovis," until at last he turned to his great pur- 
pose, and said : " ' My lord, seeing we are all now 
friends, will ye go south to Edinburgli with us ? ' The 
marquis, seeing his purpose, answered quickly : ' My 
lord, I am here in this town upon assurance that I 
would come and go at my own pleasure but [without] 
molestation or inquietation. And now I see by con- 
dition my lodging was guarded that I could not come 

' " Huntly's desire was granted, and an assurance sent him under the 
chief men's hands, especially Montrose's, that he should he free to re- 
turn." — Gordon's Scots Affairs, ii. 235. 



out nor in. And now by expectation ye would take 
myself — who is here and bidden here by your lordship, 
in quiet manner, merry and glad — and carry me to 
Edinburgh whether I would or not. This, in my 
sight, seems not fair nor honourable.' Always says 
he, ' My lord, give me my bond whilk I gave you at 
Inverurie, and ye shall have ane answer ; ' whilk the 
general obeyed, and delivered to the marquis. Then 
he said, ' Whether will ye take me south as ane cap- 
tive, or willingly of my own mind % ' The general 
answered, ' Make your choice.' Then he said, ' I will 
not go as ane captive, but as ane volunteer ; ' where- 
upon he comes to door, hastily goes to his own lodg- 
ing, where he finds the same strictly guarded with 
musketeers." ^ 

Some of Huntly's friends besought Montrose to 
leave a hostage for him, but this he refused. The mar- 
c[uess had been attended by two of his sons — the Lord 
Gordon, the eldest, and his brother, the Lord Aboyne 
— who were persuaded by their kindred to return to 
Strathbogie. On reaching Edinburgh the marquess 
was secured in the castle. This transaction cast a 
shadow on the destinies of Montrose, and crossed his 
path towards objects very different from those on 
which he was dreaming as an unscrupulous promoter 
of the Covenant. One who had good opportunities of 
knowing how Huntly felt tells us : " For Montrose 
going along with that action it is most certain, to the 
best of my knowledge — for I write this knowingly — 
that it bred such a distaste in Huntly against Mon- 
trose, that afterwards, when Montrose fell off to the 
king and forsook the Covenanters, and was glad to 

' Spalding's Memorials, i. 170. 


get the assistance of Huntly and his followers, the 
Marquis of Huntly could never be gained to join 
cordially with him, nor to swallow that indignity. 
This bred jars betwixt them in the carrying on of the 
war, and that which was pleasing to the one was 
seldom pleasing to the other. Whence it came to 
pass that such as were equally enemies to both (who 
knew it well enough) were secured, and in end pre- 
vailed so far as to ruinate and destroy both of them, 
and the king by a consequent." ^ 

At the moment the achievement appeared to be a 
success, since it shook and Aveakened the combination 
which formed the Cavalier strength in the north. 
One must keep in view the peculiar and complex 
structure of the organisation of which Huntly was the 
head, to know how chaotic and purposeless it might 
become when that head was gone. The removal of 
a king from a well-organised independent state might 
have less influence, because naturally the organisation 
would be sufficiently sound to work for him iu his 
absence. On the other hand, if the head of a clan 
got into trouble — a frequent occurrence — the heir or 
next in command would get the obedience of the elan. 
The clansmen held of such a leader by pure loyalty ; 
but the greater portion of the force commanded by 
Huntly was kept together not by loyalty to him but 
by policy — the policy of combining for mutual aid 
against the Government and the rival house of 
Argyle. Within that combination were all manner 
of subordinate jealousies and hatreds. There were 
Lowland families of ancient blood, who could say they 
were as good as the proud Gordons themselves, and 

^ Gorflon's Scots Affairs, ii. 238. 


were bitterly jealous of each other, and repudiative of 
any other leader but the great marquess, towards whom 
they took the position rather of allies acknowledging 
leadership than of vassals acknowledging obedience. 
There was a still more difficult and dangerous element 
in the wild Highland tribes, with whom Argyle was 
trafficking to consolidate an influence from his centre 
of government at Inverary, while Huntly was doing 
the same from Strathbogie. It was the rehearsal, on a 
small scale, but in a far more tangible shape, of that 
competition between the Kussian and the British in- 
fluence which politicians have professed to find in 
the territories of Central Asia between Russia and 
Hindustan. Then there was through and through the 
whole mountain district such a ramification of hered- 
itary quarrels and old wrongs standing over for ven- 
geance, that the most diligent of the local and gene- 
alogical historians become confused in the attempts to 
trace them. Sometimes the feud lay between a clan 
in Argyle's interest and another in Huntly's, and 
indeed was the cause of their thus drawing ofi" into 
opposite camps. But sometimes the two enemies 
belonged to the same organisation, which their bicker- 
ings continually disturbed. It has to be added that 
all were inveterate thieves, and when temptation fell 
in their way did not always distinguish with proper 
nicety their allies from their enemies.^ 

1 Take, for instance, some of the elements in a general meeting at 
Strathbogie of the Lowlanders of Aberdeensliire and the Highland fol- 
lowing of Huntly, "the most part of Lochaber only excepted, whom 
Argyle either tampered with or forced to keep home." With those who 
came "likewise joined James Grant, a son of the family of Carron on 
Spey side, with some twenty of his followers. This gentleman had been 
an outlaw several years before, upon a private account, which was, that 
his nephew, John Grant of Carron, had been killed by a near neighbour 


Huntly's second son, the Lord Aboyne, acted as 
head of the house and of the confederation, and for 
his assistance was invested by the king's writ with 
his father's office of Lieutenant; but he was young, and 
without capacity to overcome the disorganising influ- 
ences. The king gave him an order on Hamilton for 
two thousand of the men on board his vessels ; but the 
order was of no avail — the two thousand men were not 
to be had ; and it was said that Hamilton, premon- 
ished of the order, had sent them back to England. 
This was all the more irritating, that the kidnapping 
of the chief had created deep resentment ; and when 
it was known that Hamilton Avas in the Forth with a 

gentleman, John Grant of Ballandallach, which, slaughter was so re- 
sented by James Grant, that for to prosecute the revenge thereof he 
wilfully turned outlaw, and had been prisoner in Edinburgh Castle not 
long before, and had made his escape thence ; but being well descended, 
and cousin to Huntly on his mother's side, he was protected in the coun- 
try, all being his friends almost, and at this time owned by Aboyne, 
although the Covenanters took occasion thence to traduce Aboyne and 
that party for taking such associates by the hand. 

" They got greater ground to speak against bim by Aboyne his taking 
under his protection one John Macgregor, a Rannoch man born (known 
by the Irish nickname of John Dow Geare), and a notorious robber; yet 
was he and his followers, about twenty- four arrant thieves and cut- 
throats, taken into the party. The addition of all this, as it contributed 
little to the service, so it gave great occasion to the Covenanters to upbraid 
Aboyne, who, being young and inexperienced, was persuaded thereto by 
such as either looked not to his honour, or wilfully strove to affront 
him. And the wiser and most sober of his friends were very ill satisfied 
therewith, and so much the rather that these two bandits, though both 
of them were willing to serve Aboyne, yet they could not agree together, 
but wherever they met they were like to fall to blows with their com- 
panies, and could hardly be kept asunder. The reason whereof was, 
because James Grant had killed one Patrick Macgregor, brother to the 
Laird of Macgregor, who had undertaken (by warrant from the Privy 
CouncU) for to kill or retake James Grant. This slaughter was as much 
resented by the Clangregor (according to their Highland form) as Car- 
ron's slaughter was resented by James Grant." — Gordon's Scots Affairs, 
ii. 257, 258. 


Jleet, the opportunity seemed to have come for stnkmg 
a blow.^ 

An incident had the effect of drawing these Cava- 
liers into common action. The Covenanters of the 
north resolved to assemble in force, and to that end 
they again selected Turriff, as so far from the centre of 
the Gordon power that it was neutralised by others. 
They were to meet on the 13th of May, and to remain 
as a centre round which their brethren would gather 
until the 21st, when they would begin to act. The 
Gordons, assembled in some numbers in Strathbogie, 
resolved to strike at once, and marched to Turriff on 
the same evening. The Covenanters were numbered 
at twelve hundred — their assailants were about as 
many; but they had what greatly enhanced their effec- 
tive force — four brass field-pieces. The assailants had 
three commanders, each doing his best; but it was 
their chief good fortune that one of the three, Eobert 
Johnston of Crimond, "had been brought up in the 
war, and wanted neither gallantry nor resolution." 
They showed so much science, that instead of rushing 

^ This is a rather perplexing story. It is thus tohi hy a contem- 
porary not prejudiced against the Royalist side, and with good means of 
information : " The king gave a new warrant and patent of lieutenancy 
unto Aboyne in place of his father, and an order to Hamilton, who was 
then lying in the Firth of Forth, for to deliver to Aboyne two thousand 
of the land soldiers, whom he commanded Hamilton for to transport 
and land safe in Aberdeen. But Hamilton, who had quick intelligence 
of all that passed about the king's hand, being advertised hereof, upon 
pretext of scarcity of victuals and sickness, sends back these two 
thousand men for England before Aboyne came to him with the king's 
order ; so that when Aboyne came to the Forth to Hamilton he was 
heartily welcomed and feasted, it's true, and many volleys shot off at 
drinking the king's health ; but it was showed him that the men were 
gone, and all that Aboyne could procure was four brass field-pieces and 
some tield-officers, and some small quantity of ammunition." — Gordon's 
Scots Affairs, ii. 265, 266. 


on the village by the east end of its one street, which 
was nearest to them, they passed deliberately round 
to the west, where attack was easier and safer. The 
Covenanters were surprised — some in bed, others en- 
joying themselves — and even the delay in the attack 
did not give them time to form. Hence, when the 
street was swept by a volley of musketry and a few 
discharges from the field-pieces, they dispersed and 
left the town in the hands of the assailants. It was 
a small afi'air — two men on the assailed and one 
on the assailing side killed. Yet it became memor- 
able in local history as " the Trot of Turriff; " and it 
had some claim to commemoration, since in that dis- 
tant village the first blood in the great civil war was 
spilt. It was remembered, too, in the north, though 
the many turns in the mighty conflict drove it out of 
memory elsewhere, that it was on the side of the Cava- 
liers that the sword was first drawn. ^ 

Among the incidents of the excitement naturally 
raised by this triumph, one was in itself a small romance 
of a character peculiarly Highland. Lord Ludovic or 
Lewis Gordon, the third son of Huntly, was, as we are 
told, a young boy at school in Strathbogie with his 
grandmother. 2 On hearing of the Trot of Turriff he 
" broke away from his grandmother, and had forsaken 
the school and his tutor, leaping over the walls so hazard- 
ously as he went near to break one of his arms." ^ He 
wandered up to the hills, and came back the leader of a 
horde of Highlanders from Strathdee, Braemar, Strath- 

^ The parson of Eothiemay gives a miirate account of tlie stages of the 
short conflict, giving individual particulars, down to the minister wan- 
dering distractedly ahout his church while the huUets passed through 
the roof. Scots Affairs, ii. 256-58. See also Spalding's Memorials, i. 185. 

^ Gordon's Scots Affairs, ii. 238. ^ Ibid., 261. 


earn, and Glenlivet. They had cro^A'ded rapturously 
round the princely boy, for such he was to them. The 
king's Court had ever been too far off, even at Holyrood, 
for distinct vision by the Highlanders, and now it was 
farther off still. To this portion of them Strathbogie 
was their court. It was noted as one of the marvels 
of his escapade that the boy presented himself to the 
mountaineers " in Highland garb." This is perhaps 
the first occasion on which any person of high rank is 
mentioned as so attired. Thus Lewis Gordon seems, 
unwittingly perhaps, to have solved a problem practi- 
cally applied in later times, that the nearest way to the 
heart of this peculiar people is to attire some person 
of illustrious rank in their peculiar garb. What it was 
at that time we do not well know, but it doubtless 
differed widely from the regulation Highland uniform 
of the present day. So, in Spalding's words, he and 
his followers, " upon Friday, the 7th of June, marched 
in brave order, about a thousand men on horse and 
foot, well armed, brave men, with captains, command- 
ers, and leaders, trumpets, drums, and bagpipes." 

Thus was this youth the commander of a body of 
troops the most irregular of irregulars — a post requir- 
ing great experience and peculiar military sagacity. 
How it fared with him in his command we are not 
precisely told ; but we know that, swollen by this ac- 
cession, the general body of Cavaliers, Highland and 
Lowland, dreamed of striking some great blow against 
the Covenanters southward of Aberdeenshire. They 
marched down Deeside, and turned to the right, 
menacing the Earl Marischal's great fortress of Dun- 
nottar. Prudence jorevailed, however, and abandon- 
ing an enterprise so hoj)eless, they returned to the 


Gordon country by the easiest method — dispersing 
and reuniting. Thus they left the south side of the 
Dee, achieving notliing " except that the Highlanders 
plundered the country coming or going — a thing very 
usual with them." ^ 

In the north " the Barons," as their leaders were 
now called, reassembled in such strength as to threaten 
annihilation to the Covenanting party beyond the 
Spey, and it was deemed necessary that Montrose 
should return to punish them. As he passed through 
Aberdeen for this purpose, his army performed a pecu- 
liar feat long remembered in the district — the execu- 
tion of a multitude of dogs found wandering after the 
practice of the species in the streets. This act was 
not without its provocative cause. At their former 
visit to the town, through what was called a " Avhimsy" 
of their commander, each Covenanting soldier was 
decorated with a blue ribbon. It had taken the 
fancy of the Cavalier damsels of Aberdeen to adorn 
their dogs with a precise duplicate of this device, and 
so distinguished were the offending animals found on 
the return of the great leader and his army.^ 

' Gordon's Scots Affairs, ii. 262. 

° Spalding's Memorials, i. 195. Blue is the Presbyterian colour down 
to this day ; and if Spalding's story be true, this affair was the cause of the 
adoption : " Here it is to be noted that few or none of this whole army 
wanted ane blue ribbon hung about his craig [neck] down under his left 
arm, whilk they called the Covenanter^ s ribhon, the Lord Gordon 
and some other of the marquis's bairns and family had ane ribbon, when 
he was dwelling in the town, of ane red flesh-colour, which they wore in 
their hats, and called it iJie royal ribbon, as a sign of their love and 
loyalty to the king. In despite or derision whereof tliis blue ribbon 
was worn, and called the Covenanter's ribbon, by the hail soldiers of this 
army, and would not hear of the royal ribbon — such was their pride and 
malice."— P. 154. 

The parson of Rothiemay says of the Covenanting army which crossed 


]\lontrose marched westward towards the Gordon 
country. The parson of Eothiemay notes that he 
stabled his troop-horses in the church of Udny, " a 
practice then unusual, though afterwards it grew to 
be more in fashion to turn churches to stables." ^ 

When he reached the ground on which he had in- 
tended to fight it out with the Barons he could not 
find his enemy. The Highlanders, with their usual 
nimbleness, had dived into their mountain recesses, to 
come forth again instantly when wanted. The leaders, 
with small bodies of picked men, had each shut him- 
self up in his own strong house or castle. Montrose 
now formed the project of destroying these strong- 
holds one by one. He began with the Tower of 
Gight. It was defended by Johnston, the victor at 
Turriff, one of the officers trained in the foreign wars, 
and threatened a tough resistance. Montrose had no 
siege-train, and his small field-pieces had little effect 
on the thick stone walls. He set himself down, how- 
ever, for a^^steady siege, in which he worked for two 
days, when, suddenly changing his purpose, he broke 
up his camp, and retreated to Edinburgh as rapidly as 
if an enemy had been at his heels. 

This was a mistake caused by false information. 
He learned that Aboyne, with his commission as 

the Tweed next year : " And now the blue ribbons and blue caps had 
opened the door in the north of England, and the Covenant colours 
came triumphantly displayed to Newcastle. For it is to be known that, 
as the last year, so in this new expedition, the Scottish officers mostly 
wore blue bonnets out of contempt of the English, who scoffingly called 
them ' Blue-caps.' And they carried blue ribbons either in their caps or 
hung about them, and their spanners thereto appended like an order 
of knighthood, the Royalists wearing red ribbons in opposition of that 
colour." — Gordon's Scots Affairs, ii. 260. 
' Gordon's Scots Affairs, ii. 264. 


Lieutenant, had brought a fleet into the roadstead of 
Aberdeen having a land-force on board. He knew 
that Aboyne had got an order from the king for two 
thousand men, but did not know that the order had 
been ineffectuaL^ As to Aboyne's fleet, it was repre- 
sented by a sorry collier-ship from the Tyne and two 
pinnaces. They carried the contribution supplied by 
Hamilton under the king's order, and landed some 
brass cannon and other munitions, and a few trained 
oflicers, the most important among whom was Crowner 
or Colonel Griin, a native of Caithness, who had served 

The retreat of Montrose did far more for the cause 
of the northern Cavaliers than the assistance brought 
by Aboyne. The dispersed army of the Barons again 
gathered round Strathbogie, and Aboyne was able to 
march on Aberdeen with some two thousand footmen 
and fi-ve hundred horse. He had a copy of the Eng- 
lish oath of allegiance to the king ; this he proclaimed 
on his way, and tendered for signature as an anti- 
Covenant declaration. Aberdeen was now again at 
the command of the Cavaliers, and those who had 
taken the Covenant, and continued to adhere to it, had 
to disappear. A curious and expressive chapter of 
local history might be filled by a description of the 
revolutions of " the gude toun " alternately under the 

^ See above, p. 37. 

^ Gun's career was a fair type of the fortunes of the more successful 
of the Scots officers who served abroad. According to tlie historian of 
the house of Sutherland, who says tliat Gun was born in that county, 
he returned to Germany, became a major-general in the imperial army 
and a baron of the empire, marrying " a rich and noble lady Ijeside the 
imperial city of Ulm, upon the Danube" (Note, Gordon's Scots Affairs, 
ii. 266). It will be seen that he was not likely to have obtained high 
preferment at home. 


military. domination of either party. The poor town- 
clerk laments over this hard fate as exceptional to the 
peace enjoyed by the other towns: "No doubt but 
this vexation was grievous to Aberdeen to be over- 
thrown by ilk party who by might and strength could 
be master of the fields, whereas all the other burghs 
within Scotland lived first and last at great rest and 

As we shall presently see, the Tables — now a strong 
settled central government — were solemnly preparing 
to measure swords with England, or with so much of 
England as the king could command. AVith all the 
rest of Scotland fairly in hand, and contributing their 
due proportion of taxes and levies for the great national 
war, it w^as provoking to find so tough an obstacle in 
one corner of the country. Critical as the position 
Avas of the army in the south, it was necessary, before 
the situation became still more critical, to send a force 
sufficient to crush an opposition which, in the general 
unanimity in which their policy prevailed elsewhere, 
had naturally taught them to consider the Cavahers 
of the north as traitors to their country's cause. 

The knowledge which experience had given Mon- 
trose of the duty to be done marked him as the proper 
commander of the expedition, and he marched north- 
wards in the middle of June. It happened that his 
enemies came so far to meet him. Having an officer 
of experience like Gun to command them, the Cav- 
aliers in Aberdeen took the strong step of a march 
southwards, that, picking up adherents as they went, 
they might come upon the rear of the Covenanting 
force in the south, while the English Eoyalist army 

' Memorials, i. 186. 


was dealing with tliem in front. The ordnance, 
powder, and heavy baggage for this expedition were to 
be conveyed along the coast in the three ships brought 
by Aboyne ; but in a storm off shore these drifted out 
to sea, and were heard of no more. When the Cava- 
liers had reached the Castle of Muchalls, five miles to 
the north of Stonehaven, Montrose was two miles on 
the other side, sheltered by Dunnottar, the great for- 
tress of his ally the Earl Marischal. All seemed ready 
for a critical battle ; and that something almost worse 
than a defeat befell the Cavaliers was attributed to the 
treachery of Gun, their leader. Their array is thus 
told : " The van was given to a troop of volunteer 
gentlemen cuiraciers, about one hundred in number, 
who for the colours carried a handkerchief upon a 
lance. These wanted nothing to have made them 
serviceable but some oflficer to lead them who had 
had more honesty than Colonel Gunne. The citizens 
of Aberdeen got the first place of all the foot, who 
had there a foot regiment of gallant firemen, well 
appointed, to the number of about four hundred. 
The Highlanders had the rear, and other troops of 
horses were put to the wings of the foot."^ 

Either through accident or false strategy it befell 
that these Highlanders did the work of the enemy. 
The cannon — " the musket's mother," as they then 
called it — was an arm of war which they would not 
meet. The near roar of artillery at once dispersed 
them. It was not that they were influenced so much 
by ordinary fear, as by a superstition that the dreadful 
sound warned them of a force which man must not 
dare to resist. Montrose Avas strong in ordnance, 

1 Gordon's Scots Affairs, ii. 271. 


having been supplied from Dunnottar. A party of the 
Covenanters advanced beyond their lines as if to at- 
tack the Cavaliers, then suddenly turned, and rapidly 
retreated as if in flight. They were followed, and 
thus the Highlanders were brought in front of a 
cannonade, with the natural result. While yet un- 
touched themselves they beheld some casualties from 
the cannonade among their allies. One gun carried a 
twenty-pound ball, "Avhich so affrighted the High- 
landers, who stood farthest off, that, without expecting 
any word of command, they ran off all in a confusion, 
never looking behind them till they were got into a 
moss or fast ground near half a mile distant from the 
Hill of Meager." The rest of the force became un- 
steady and disappeared. It was not a retreat, for no 
order was kept ; nor a flight, for there was no pursuit ; 
but a dispersal, each seeking his own home. And so 
" this," says the historian of the affair, " is that action 
known so well afterwards under the name of the Eaid 
of Stonehive, so ridiculously and grossly managed 
that in all the war nothing can be recounted like it." ^ 
The sole hope for the Cavalier party in Aberdeen 
now lay in holding the bridge over the Dee — a work 
of seven arches, narrow and crooked, as bridges were 
in that day. To this spot such of the scattered force 
as could again be gathered was brought. What de- 
fence-works of turf and stone the short time permitted 
were run up at the south end. They were so strong 
and well served that for a whole day the cannon as- 
sailed them, and swept the bridge in vain. Next day 
Montrose tried a strategy of so simple and transparent 
a kind, that its success, in the face of trained soldiers, 

^ Gordon's Scots Affairs, ii. 275. 


was attributed to the treachery of the Cavalier com- 
mander. The Covenanting army appeared to be 
ascending the river to cross by a neighbouring ford. 
The other party went to defend the ford. There were 
but fifty left at the bridge, and the barriers were 
forced without resistance. So it was in this northern 
section of the contest that the second actual conflict 
as well as the first was fought. The afi"air of the 
Bridge of Dee made a nearer approach to the dignity 
of a battle than the Trot of Turrifi"; and its results 
were far more eminent, since they decided the fate 
not of a mere village, but of an important town, the 
capital of a district. Again the Covenanters were 
supreme in Aberdeen. Some conspicuous Malignants 
were imprisoned, others dispersed or hid themselves. 
There was momentous consultation about the fate of 
the city — whether it should be rased to the ground, 
and if not, what penalty should be exacted from it. 
But an event intercepted the decision of these mo- 
mentous questions. It was on the 19th of June 1639 
that the bridge was carried. On the 20th, "whilst 
the poor city was fearing the worst, that very night 
came there a pinnace from Berwick, with letters both 
from the king and chief of the Covenanters, ordering 
all acts of hostility to cease upon both sides, and 
intimating that the treaty was closed ; so that to- 
morrow all the prisoners were released, the peace 
proclaimed, and every man began to come back to 
Aberdeen to their houses. Yet could not Montrose's 
soldiers be gotten away out of the town of Aberdeen 
till the town paid five thousand merks Scots for a 
taxation to them, so ill were they satisfied both with 
the want of the plunder of Aberdeen and the hasty 


news of tbe peace, which Montrose suspected would 
come before he entered the town." ^ 

It has been thought best to trace up to a temporary 
conclusion this episode in the great contest, to prevent 
confusion and clear all out of the way of the account 
of the far more momentous, though less picturesque 
and animated, succession of events through which the 
main quarrel took its course. 

1 Gordon's Scots Affairs, ii. 281, 282. 












NORTH — Leslie's army reconstructed — montrose and 




Hamilton's conduct received the approval of Laud, 
and therefore of the king ; and he went to Court to 
hold consultations, having first duly consulted Laud 
on the propriety of such a step. So far as the voices 
of that age come down to the present, the loudest in 
denunciation and the firmest in the demand of strong 
measures is still the voice of Laud. He chafed with 
VOL. vn. D 

50 CHARLES 1. 

fierce impatience at the slowness and insufiicieney of 
the preparations for punishment. " I am as sorry," 
he says, " as your grace can be, that the king's pre- 
parations can make no more haste. I hope you think 
— for truth it is — I have called upon his majesty, and 
by his command upon some others, to hasten all that 
may be, and more than this I cannot do." And a few 
days later — on the 7th of December : " In tender care 
of his majesty's both safety and honour, I have done, 
and do daily call upon him for his preparations. He 
protests he makes all the haste he can, and I believe 
him ; but the jealousies of giving the Covenanters 
umbrage too soon have made the preparations here so 
late. I do all I can here with trouble and sorrow 
enough." ^ 

The preparations were very formidable in design : 
" His majesty was to raise an army of thirty thousand 
horse and foot, and to lead them in person towards 
Scotland : he was to ^w^rite to all the nobility of Eng- 
land to wait upon him to the campaign with their at- 
tendants, who should be maintained by his majesty's 
pay : he was to put good garrisons in Berwick and 
Carlisle — two thousand in the former and five hun- 
dred in the latter : he was at the same time to send 
a fleet to ply from the Firth northward for stopping 
of trade, and making a great diversion for guarding 
the coast : he was also to send an army of five thou- 
sand men under the marquis his command to land in 
the north and join with Huntly's forces — all which 
should be under his command, he retaining still the 
character of commissioner, with the addition of gen- 
eral of the forces in Scotland ; and with these he was 

' Burnet's Memoirs of Haiiiiltnii 111. 

THE king's preparations, 1639. 51 

first to make the uorth sure, and then to move south- 
ward, which might both make another great diversion, 
and encourage such as wished well to his majesty's 
service, who were the greater number in those parts. 
Next, the Earl of Antrim was to land in Argyleshire, 
upon his pretensions to Kintyre and the old feuds 
betwixt the Macdonalds and Campbells ; and he pro- 
mised to bring with him ten or twelve thousand men. 
And last of all, the Earl of Strafford was to draw to- 
gether such forces as could be levied and spared out 
of Ireland, and come with another fleet into Dum- 
briton Firth ; and for his encouragement the marquis 
desired him to touch at Arran (that being the only 
place of his interest which he could offer unto his 
majesty), and he would be sure of all his men there 
(such naked rogues as they were is his own phrase) ; 
besides, there were store of cows in that island for the 
provision of the fleet, which he appointed should not 
be spared."^ 

But poverty stood in the way of this, as of many 
another brilliant project. Though the revenvie from 
ship-money supported the Court in time of tranquillity, 
there was so little for any exigency that the expense of 
entertaining the queen's mother becomingly crippled 
the treasury. As a type of the condition of the de- 
partments connected with war and the national de- 
fence, we may take the facts which Sir John Heydon, 
Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance, gave as his ex- 
cuse for not rendering certain returns required by the 
master-general : " The surveyor is sick ; the clerk of 
the ordnance restrained of his liberty, and one of his 
clerks absent ; the clerk of the deliveries is out of 

1 Burnet's Memoirs, 113. 


town, and his clerk absent ; the master-gunner dead, 
the yeomen of the ordnance never present, nor any of 
the gunner attendants." ^ 

So wretchedly were the royal fortresses in Scotland 
apparelled and manned, that the Tables resolved to 
take them at one sweep out of the hands of the Gov- 
ernment. The project was discussed as a matter of 
policy rather than ability, the question being, whether 
it was just and prudent to take the king's strong 
places out of the hands of his appointed servants, and 
themselves hold them in his name. On the 23d of 
March, Leslie, at the head of a strong party, demanded 
possession of Edinburgh Castle. It was refused. Con- 
trary to all proper precaution, he was allowed to put 
his demand at the outer gate ; and when this was 
closed on him, like a house - door on an unwelcome 
visitor, he took the opportunity to screw a petard on 
it. This explosive engine had, of course, been pre- 
pared with the latest improvements known in the 
great war ; and the effects of its explosion were so 
astounding that the garrison tacitly j^ermitted the 
assailants to take possession of the fortress. " Dum- 
barton," says Baillie, " was a strength that no force 
ever had won, and what stratagem to use we knew 
not, the captain being so vigilant a gentleman, and 
having provided it so well with men, munition, and 
victuals ; yet God put it in our hands most easily." ^ 
It happened that this " vigilant gentleman " attended 
church on Sunday with so many of the garrison that 
when they were seized on their way back the place 
was defenceless. Dalkeith was easily taken by as- 

' Calendar of State Papca-s (Domestic), 1637-.38, preface, xiii. 
- Letters, i. 193. 

THE king's preparations, 1639. 53 

sault. AVitliin it were found the warlike stores about 
which there had been so much discussion. Something- 
still more interesting was found there, — the Honours 
of the realm — the crown, sceptre, and sword. These 
were conveyed with reverential pomp to Edinburgh 
Castle. Stirling Castle did not require to be assailed 
— it was in the hands of a sure friend, the Earl of 
Mar. All this was accomplished without the shedding 
of a drop of blood, and was treated as a mere change 
of officers — an administrative reform. Some strong- 
places, in the hands of powerful subjects, such as 
Hamilton Palace and Douglas Castle, were in the 
same manner put into safe keeping. The Tables cast 
longing eyes on the fortress of Caerlaverock, already 
twice memorable in our History. They let it alone, for 
a reason which shows how much prudence was allied 
to their strength. As a Border fortress its posses- 
sion was of moment. But it might have been assisted 
from the garrison of Carlisle, and it was infinitely 
desirable to avoid any conflict with English troops. 
On the king's side the Commission of Array was 
issued requiring the feudal force of England to assem- 
ble at York. Hamilton was to take a fleet transport- 
ins; land-forces into the Firth of Forth. " He desired 
the king might choose a fitter person for the naval 
forces, since he was altogether unacquainted with sea 
affairs, and not fit for such an important service. But 
his majesty, looking upon this as an effect of his 
modesty, gave no hearing to it, telling him that as for 
affairs purely naval, Sir John Pennington, the vice- 
admiral, should go with him, and would abundantly 
supply his defects in that." ^ 

1 Burnet's Memoirs, 114. 


Such was the practice of the day. It took many 
years' experience and many disasters to prove that 
skill and science were necessary for sea commands, 
and that birth and rank could not effect the handling 
of vessels without these qualities. 

On the 1st of May Hamilton and his fleet entered 
the Firth of Forth. He had nineteen vessels, and the 
rumour spread that he brought five thousand men in 
them. We are told that these were in good condition, 
" well clothed and well armed, but so little exercised 
that of the five thousand there were not two hundred 
who could fire a musket." ^ This was, it appears, 
because the trained men were kept at home for the 
defence of their own counties in case of need. Whether 
there actually were five thousand men in the fleet may 
be doubted. Though there were five regiments, we 
have seen already how, when two thousand men were 
ordered from them for service, they were not to be 
found. Two of these regiments were, as we have 
seen, sent to join the king's army in the north of Eng- 
land. The whole affair partook of a pretence organised, 
after the fashion of Chinese warfare, to frighten the 
country. But the alarm inspired by it took the wrong 
direction. It communicated to the preparations of the 
Tables an impulsive rapidity. They were soon in pos- 
session of thirty thousand stand of arms. They had 
twenty thousand men embodied, and in the hands of an 
organisation for diligently drilling and training them. 
Prompt measures were taken for the defence of the coast. 
Leith was strongly fortified. Round the coast of Fife 
there was at that time a string of seaport towns which 
conducted a lucrative commerce. They had an abun- 

' Bmnet's Memoirs, 120. 



daut shipping, and, like all enterprisiDg maritime com- 
munities of that age, transacted in the Spanish main 
and other distant seas a kind of business that ac- 
customed them to the use of arms. These towns 
were so affluent that King James compared the bleak 
county of Fife to a frieze cloak with a trimming of 
gold-lace. All these towns fortified themselves, and 
there was no spot where a party could be landed 
from the fleet without a struggle. 

The Tables had again been supplicating in the old 
fashion, vindication of the past and determination to 
go on for the future in the same course, being set forth 
with all deep humility. The king answered them in 
a denunciatory proclamation intrusted to Hamilton. 
Times were changed, however, and it was no longer 
that the king's lieutenant played a game at hide-and- 
seek with those who were to neutralise his Proclama- 
tion by a Protestation. The authorities in Edinburgh 
would neither announce the proclamation nor permit 
it to be announced. They sent a remonstrance to 
Hamilton, with the old professions of loyalty and 
humility, but pointing out to him that this document 
which comes from abroad, and has no sanction from 
the local government of Scotland, " carries a denunci- 
ation of the high crime of treason against all such as 
do not accept the offer therein contained." "Where- 
as your grace knows well that l)y the laws of this 
kingdom, treason and tlie forfeiture of the lands, life, 
and estate of the meanest subject within the same 
cannot be declared but either in Parliament or in 
a supreme justice court, after citation and lawful 
probation ; how much less of the whole j^eers and 
body of the kingdom, without either court, proof, <jr 


trial." They are convinced tliat it is not the doing of 
their gracious king, but "a deep plot contrived by 
the policy of the devilish malice of the known and 
cursed enemies of this Kirk and State." ^ 

On the 20tli of May the Scots army was paraded 
on the links of Leitli by their commander-in-chief, 
Leslie. The articles of war under which they took 
themselves bound to serve were read to them. Next 
day the march towards the English border began. 
They were accompanied by several clergymen, who 
filled the regimental chaplain department to super- 
fluity. Fortunately for the entertainment and in- 
struction of later times, Baillie was among them, and 
left some picturesque notices of his experience. He 
was chaplain to the contingent from Ayrshire, where 
he ministered, and he says : " I furnished to half-a- 
dozen of good fellows muskets and pikes, and to my 
boy a broadsword. I carried myself, as the fashion 
was, a sword and a couple of Dutch pistols at my 
saddle ; but I promise for the offence of no man 
except a robber on the way, for it was our part alone 
to pray and preach for the encouragement of our 
countrymen."^ It may be questioned if any army 
since the time of chivalry had in it so much of the 
aristocratic element as this which went to make war 
upon the sovereign. Baillie says: " Our crouners [that 
is, colonels], for the most part, were noblemen. Rothes, 
Lindsay, Sinclair, had among them two fall regiments, 
at least, from Fife. Balcarras, a horse troop ; Loudon, 
]\Iontgomcry, Erskine, Boyd, Fleming, Kirkcudbright, 
Tester, Dalhousie, Eglinton, and others, either with 
whole or half regiments. JMontrose's regiment was 

^ Burnet's Memoirs. " Letters, &c., i. 211. 


above fifteen himdi-ed men."^ His clerical mind 
was surprised that so large a representative force of 
the territorial aristocracy of Scotland should defer to 
the soldier of fortune who commanded in chief : " We 
were feared that emulation among our nobles might 
have done harm Avhen they should be met in the 
fields ; but such was the wisdom and authority of that 
old, little, crooked soldier, that all with ane incredible 
submission from the beginning to the end gave over 
themselves to be guided by him, as if he had been 
great Solomon." '^ 

There was a strouo- element of religious enthusiasm 


in that host, yet perhaps it was not quite so strong as 
some have believed it was. Through the wliole strug- 
gle the working of the religious element was in the 
hands of the loudest speakers, while those whose im- 
pulses were of a secular character were more reserved 
in their communications. What Baillie says of his 
own entranced inner feelings may have applied to his 

1 Lettere, &c., i. 211. 

- Ibid., 213, 214. OLl Leslie was popular in England. The author 
possesses a slim quarto pamphlet with the title, " General Lesley's 
Speech in the Parliament of Scotland, the 25th of October 1641, in 
Defence of himself upon certain Slanders which are reported of liim — 
wherein he expresseth his Affection to the King and Kingdom of Eng- 
land. Also concerning the Traytors of Scotland which did lay a Plot to 
take away his Life. Printed at London for T. B., 1641." There is a wood- 
cut on the title-page representing the general, in much more than com- 
plete armour, careering away on a thundering war-steed. The speech 
is in keeping with this — a rodomontade of turgid English sprinkled 
with Latin. It must have taken skill to make anything so absolutely 
at odds with the tough old practical Scots soldier, who had spent his 
life abroad, and had a dubious reputation as to reading and writing. The 
interest in the existence of such a document is in the fact that it should 
have been fabricated for the English. On turning to the Lord Lyon's 
diary of the session of 1641, to find whether Leslie did address the 
House on the 2.5th of October 1641, the response is : "25th October — 
Mondav: no meeting of Parliament."— Balfour, iii. 119. 


brother clergy and a few others. The soldiers from 
the Swedish camp had been taught to submit to reli- 
gious ordinances as part of the soldier's discipline. 
The same practice will in some measure account for the 
sound of psalm-singing and praise which fed the ears of 
Baillie with spiritual luxuries. That there was some- 
what of swearing and brawling, and the other rough 
usages of the camp, was also an element which he 
was too honest to conceal.^ Argyle was there with 
a few of his Highlanders. The others did not relish 
their fellowship, and it was prudently settled that the 
main body should remain in Scotland in the rear of 
the march, "to be a terror to our neutralists or masked 
friends, to make all without din march forward, lest 
his uncanny trewsmen should light on to call him up 
in their rear." Argyle's little group fox'med an object 
of wonder, like the French Mamelukes, or the other 
strange allies that armies emj^loyed on distant Oriental 
warfare bring home Avith them for ornament rather 
than use. They came from districts as utterly un- 
known in England as the interior of Africa, and their 

1 The short passage on which tlie text is a commentary is singuLirly 
interesting : " Ha<l ye lent your ear in the morning, or especially at 
oven, and heard in the tents the sound of some singing pjsalms, some 
praying, and some reading Scripture, ye would have been refreshed. 
True, there was swearing and cursing and brawling in some quarters, 
whereat we were grieved ; but we hoped, if our camp had been a little 
settled, to have gotten some way for these luisorders ; for all of 
any fashion did regret, and all did promise to contribute their best 
endeavours for helping all abuses. For myself, I never found my 
mind in better temper than it was all that time frae I came from home, 
till my head was again homeward ; for I was as a man who had taken 
my leave from the world, and was resolved to die in that service without 
return. I found the favour of God shiidng upon me, and a sweet, meek, 
hunilile, yet strong and vehement spirit leading me all along ; but I 
was no sooner in my way westward, after the conclusion of peace, than 
my old security returned." — Letters, &c., i. 214. 


people had a terrible name for rapine and ferocity. 
"It was tliouglit," says Baillie, "the country of Eng- 
land was more afraid for the barbarity of his High- 
landers than of any other terror. These of the English 
that came to visit our camp did gaze much with 
admiration on these supple fellows, with their plaids, 
target, and dorlachs." Thus it was in the cause of 
the Covenant that Highland troops first threatened 
the English border. 

The army had an excellent commissariat, in which 
their own sagacious organisation was assisted by 
fortunate contingencies. The account of the material 
condition of the host would be spoilt if given in any 
other than Baillie's own words : — 

" None of our gentlemen was anything worse of 
lying some weeks together in their cloak and boots 
on the ground, or standing all night in arms in the 
greatest storm. Whiles, through storm of weather 
and neglect of the commissaries, our bread would be 
too long in coming, which made some of the eastland 
soldiers half mutiny ; but at once order being taken 
for our victuals from Edinburgh, East Lothian, and 
the country about us, we were answered better than 
we could have been at home. Our meanest soldiers 
was always served in wheat-bread, and a groat would 
have gotten them a lamb-leg, which was a dainty 
world to the most of them. There had been an extra- 
ordinary crop in that country the former year, beside 
abundance which still was stolen away to the English 
camp for great prices ; we would have feared no iulake 
for little money in some months to come. Marche and 
Tevidaill are the best mixt and most plentiful shires 
both for grass and corn, for fleshes and bread, in all 


our land. AVe were mncli obliged to the town of 
Edinburgh for moneys. Harie EoUock, by his ser- 
mons, moved them to shake out their purses. The 
garners of non-Covenanters, especially of James Max- 
well and my Lord Wintoun, gave us plenty of wheat. 
One of our ordinances was to seize on the rents of non- 
Covenanters ; for we thought it but reasonable, [since] 
they sided with these who put our lives and our lands 
for ever to seal, for the defence of our Church and 
country, — to employ for that cause, wherein their in- 
terest was as great as ours if they would be Scottish- 
men, a part of their rent for a,ne year ; but for all 
that, few of them did incur any loss by that our de- 
cree, for the peace prevented the execution."^ 

The army, thus effectively equipped, contained 
twenty-two thousand footmen and five hundred horse- 
men. It will give some conception of the skill and 
perseverance of those who sent it forth, to note that, 
in mere jiroportion to the number of the inhabitants 
of Scotland, it Avas such a feat as if a British war 
minister of the present day could place an army of 
some six hundred thousand efiective men on the 

When the army had reached Dungias, on the Ber- 
wickshire coast, the Lord Holland handed to the gen- 
eral a proclamation issued l)y the king at Newcastle 
on the 14th of JMay. It stated that he found the Scots 
nation were aj)prehensive that, contrary to his inten- 
tions, he had come to invade them. He wishes to remove 
this impression ; " if all civil and temporal obedience be 
effectually and timely given and shown," there is to 
be no invasion. The document is full of indistinct 

' Letters, &c., i. 213. 

CAMP ON DUNSE LAW, 1639. 61 

matter of tliis kind ; but it contained one positive 
declaration fit to be a ground of action, — if the Scots 
came within ten miles of the Border, they were to be 
treated as " rebels and invaders of this our kingdom 
of England," and to be attacked by the English army.^ 
A council of war was held in the Scots camp, and it 
was resolved in the mean time to obey the proclama- 
tion, and to keep themselves ten miles distant from 
the Border.^ An inexplicable incident connects itself 
with this transaction. A large detachment of the 
Scots — four or five thousand — were stationed at 
Kelso. Whether or not they were at the time con- 
scious of the proclamation, they were then within ten 
miles of England. The Lord Holland came up with 
a force of about equal strength and threatened a 
charge, but finding that it would be steadily received, 
wheeled his troop round and suddenly left the ground. 
The Scots exulted over this as an inglorious and dis- 
orderly retreat. It is likely that Holland supposed 
the Scots party to be a small one which he could 
easily drive back to the prescribed distance, and that 
when he saw there would be tough resistance he feared 
the responsibility of fighting the first battle.-"^ 

^ The proclamation is printed from a JMS., in Peterkin's Records, 220. 

^ Gordon's Scots Ailaixs, iii. 5. 

' Ibid., 7. Sir Harry Vane, in a letter to Hamilton, described the 
affair thus : " My Lord Holland with one thousand horse and three 
thousand foot marched towards Kelso, which when the rebels discovered 
they instantly marched out with one hundred and fifty horse, and (as 
my Lord Holland says) eight or ten thousand foot — five or six thousand 
there might have been. He thereupon sent a trumpet comniaudin" 
them to retreat, according to what they had promised by the proclama- 
tion. They asked whose trumpeter he was; he said my Lord Holland's. 
Their answer was, he had best to be gone ; and so my Lord Holland 
made his retreat, and waited on his majesty this night to give him 
this account." — Burnet's Memoirs, 139. Baillie's view was : " It is 


The Scots commander called in all liis separate 
detachments, so that his army might intrench itself in 
a permanent camp at Dunse. This selection was not 
in literal compliance with the proclamation to keep 
ten miles from the Border, but virtually it showed 
that he did not intend to cross the Border and attack 
the king's army. The nature of the ground was 
doubtless the reason of selection. The Law of Dunse 
is a round trap hill entirely coated with thick turf, 
not interrupted by breaks or rocks. It stands apart 
by itself, and has a thorough command over the 
country around, affording a view far into England. 
Baillie's description of the encampment is brief but 
sufficient : " Our hill was garnished on the top to- 
wards the south and east with our mounted cannon, 
well near to the number of forty, great and small. 
Our regiments lay on the sides of the hill almost 
round about. The place was not a mile in circle — a 
pretty round rising in a declivity without steepness 
to the height of a bowshot. On the top somewhat 
plain about a quarter of a mile in length, and as 
much in breadth, as I remember, capable of tents for 
forty thousand men. The crouners lay in canvas lodg- 
ings high and wide ; their captains about them in 
lesser ones ; the soldiers about all in huts of timber 
covered with divot or straw. "^ 

The king's army was on the other side of the 
Tweed. To honour the presence of royalty it was 

thought Holland's commission was to cut off all he met in opposition 
to him ; but his soldiers that day was a great deal more nimhle in 
their legs nor arms, excejjt their Cavaliers, whose right arms was not 
less weary in whipping than their heels in jading their horses." — 
Letters, i. 210. 
1 Letters, i. 211. 

CAMP ON DUNSE LAW, 1639. 63 

decorated with much splendour ; but its materials were 
of the same worthless kind as the levies sent to 
Hamilton's fleet. The two hosts looked at each other, 
and to the English it was plain that the post taken 
by the Scots covered any road they might take 

Thus, while still maintaining his divine right and 
the duty of implicit obedience, the king had come 
face to face with absolute defeat at the hands of his 
subjects. The question Avas, whether he should fight 
and be beaten, or treat. His advisers could not well 
hesitate which to choose ; but the problem was how to 
treat, and yet to save the royal dignity. The other 
side were ready to help to this solution, provided they 
had practically their own way in all things. A Scots- 
man, Eobert Leslie, one of the royal pages, stepped 
over to the Scots camp to see and converse with old 
friends. He touched on various topics, and at last, as 
if it were a spontaneous thought which he could not 
help uttering — might it not be prudent at this, the 
last moment, to present a humble supplication to his 
majesty ? The hint was taken. The " humble sup- 
plication," partaking of the brevity of the camp, and 
strongly in contrast with previous documents of the 
same name, desired that his majesty would appoint 
some persons well affected to true religion and the 
common peace, to hear their humble desires and make 
known to them his majesty's gracious pleasure.^ The 
king referred to his " gracious proclamation" to his 
subjects in Scotland, which had " been hitherto hin- 
dered to be published,"— when it was " publicly read" 
he would hear their supplications at length. Sir 

1 Rushworth, iii. 9.38. 



Edward ^^-'^nay, a man who saw all tlie danger and 
eagerly desired to obviate it, was sent to tlie Scots 
camp witli this proposal. He was told distinctly that 
the proclamation could not be acknowledged or pub- 
lished. The reasons for this were given at length 
and offered to him in writing ; they were in sub- 
stance the same as those tendered to Hamilton.^ But 
Vcrnay was eager for some compromise. In the 
ouncil of officers round the general's table the pro- 
clamation was produced and examined, as people met 
on business examine the documents connected with 
it. Some one suggested the reading it over, and it 
was read accordingly " with much reverence." This 
Vernay reported as "a satisfaction " of the king's 
demand. The satisfaction was accepted, and an inti- 
mation was sent to the Scots camp, that "his majesty, 
having understood of the obedience of the petitioners 
in reading his proclamation as was commanded 
them, is graciously pleased so far to condescend unto 
their petition, as to admit some of them to repair to 
his majesty's camp upon Monday next at eight o'clock 
in the morning at the lord general's tent, where they 
shall find six persons of honour and trust appointed by 
his majesty to hear their humble desires." Thus was 
the great crisis postponed and an opportunity opened 
for negotiation. Yet even at this point the Scots ex- 
emplified that spirit of suspicion that, whether Avell or 
ill founded, had taken possession of them, and a de- 
termination to rely on nothing but their own strength. 
This invitation, signed by Sir Edward Coke, the 
Secretary of State, was tendered to them as a safe- 

^ See above, p. 55. Tliey will be found, as stated in the camp of 
date 18th .June 16.39, in Peterkin's Records, p. 226. 


conduct, but was not accepted to that effect : " Although 
themselves did not mistrust his majesty's word signi- 
fied by the secretary, yet the people and army would 
not permit their deputies to come without his majesty's 
own hand and warrant." The stinp- in such an inti- 


mation could not be the less sharp that it was made 
in honest caution and not in bravado ; but the offence 
tendered in it could not be taken in such an emer- 
gency. With the necessary changes, " the self-same 
form which had been signed by Mr Secretary Coke 
was again returned them upon Sunday night, June 
the 9th, signed by his majesty." ^ 

The commissioners sent from the Scots camp were 
Eothes, Loudon, Douglas, the Sheriff of Teviotdale, 
Warriston, and Henderson. The place of meeting- 
was the tent occupied by the English commander, the 
Earl of Arundel. There was something faintly dis- 
pleasing in this arrangement, since he was suspected 
of Popish leanings ; but the heterodoxy of the owner 
of the canvas stretched over them was a trifle, and 
they satisfied their consciences by addressing them- 
selves not to him but to the Lord Holland. It was 
admitted, too, that Arundel's hospitality, also un- 
affected by his opinions, was munificent. 

They had but begun business when a strange inci- 
dent occurred. The king stepped into the tent unan- 
nounced, and so noiselessly that the Scots commission- 
ers, who had their backs to the entrance, were for some 
little time unaware of his presence. Such a disturbing 
influence in deliberative assemblies, especially of small 
numbers, was inimical to British constitutional pre- 
cedent both in England and Scotland. Whether or 

1 Rushwortli, iii. 939; Hardwioke's State Papers, ii. 130. 


not it was from a reliance on the overawing influence 
of the sacred presence, King Charles showed great 
hankering for such surprises — witness his undesired 
presence and interference in the meeting of the Estates 
in 1633, and afterwards his appearance in the House 
of Commons to claim the five members. He attended 
the conference pretty regularly, and bore with patience 
and complacency speeches that can have been neither 
enlivening nor congenial. " The king," says Baillie, 
" was very sober, meek, and patient to hear all ; our 
spokesmen were very earnest to speak much, to make 
large and plausible narrations, as well they could, 
of all our proceedings from the beginning." "Much 
and most free communina; there was of the highest 
matters of State. It is likely his majesty's ears had 
never been tickled with such discourses ; yet he was 
most patient of all, and loving of clear reason." "His 
majesty was ever the longer the better loved of all 
that heard him, as one of the most just, reasonable, 
sweet persons they ever had seen; and he also was the 
more enamoured with us, especially with Henderson 
and Loudon. These conferences purchased to us a 
great deal of reputation for wisdom, eloquence, gravity, 
loyalty, and all other good parts with tlie English 
counsellors, who all the time did speak little, but 
suffered the speech to pass betwixt us and the king."^ 
Thus the king's presence and demeanour infused 
through those stubborn men a soothing influence, 
prompting them to reliance. This feeling, however, 
did not take the direction that he who created it might 
have desired. It was not a reliance on the soundness 
of any step which the king might take, but a reliance 

' Baillie's Letters, i. 217. 


that they had talked him over to their own side. They 
startled him somewhat by a request made with due 
formal reverence, that he would set his own hand as 
they had set theirs to the abolition of Episcopacy. 
But even to this he avoided an irritating answer — it 
was a weighty matter which he must take time to 
think of. 

It would be easy to fill up a narrative of contradic- 
tion and debate from the writings connected with this 
conference. Papers were exchanged, as of old, with 
supplications and evasions or refusals. The way in 
which one side set forth in writing the verbal discus- 
sions or conclusions was contradicted by the other. 
When the king proclaimed his view of the future 
sanctioned by the conference, there was the inevitable 
" protestation" contradicting him. But these wrang- 
lings had none of the importance of those which pre- 
ceded the Covenant and the General Assembly. Then 
they represented an actual contest, attended by uncer- 
tainties and mutations. Now it might be said that the 
Covenanters were in possession, the c[uestion remain- 
ing was, whether they were to hold that possession by 
the sword, or to keep it in peace, avoiding the scandal 
and the other evils of a civil war. 

There were thus some points that might be called 
open questions, which the stronger party could close 
at their will. The king would not acknowledge that 
General Assembly which had been held against his com- 
mand, and the other party would not disavow it. The 
whole question was left to a free Assembly and a free 
meeting of the Estates. The prevailing party could 
not object to these exercising their full power of re- 
visal. They knew well what the result would be; and 


if the king's dignity was saved by its resolving itself 
into that shape, it was well. So with the Bishops. The 
king would not absolutely accept their destruction, nor 
would the other party disavow the act — this, too, would 
be in the hands of the Parliament and Assembly. 

For other and immediate matters it was agreed that 
both armies should be disbanded, and that the Scottish 
fortresses should be restored to the king. There were 
other items of a secondary kind ; but they are of little 
moment, since each party charged the other as unfaith- 
ful to the treaty, and it affected no more than a post- 
ponement of the c[uarrel. Other incidents were pro- 
motive of jealousy and irritation. While the king was 
yet on the Border he sent messages to fourteen of those 
who had chief influence in the management of Scots 
affairs, desiring them to come to him that he mio-ht 
consult with them on high and important matters of 
policy. There was something imusual, to the verge of 
eccentricity, in such a proposal, especially when a con- 
ference in which they were on one side and he on the 
other had been brought to a practical conclusion. 
There were two suspicious questions raised about the 
affair. Did he desire to have these men as his guests 
and companions, that he might try the influence of his 
royal blandishments on them 1 This was the lighter sus- 
picion of the two. The other laid bluntly to his charge 
a design to kidnap the leaders of the Covenant party. 
Those so invited all declined to attend. Whatever was 
meant by the invitation, its rejection was naturally 
counted as an offence by subjects to their sovereign.^ 

^ The king, when he explained his ahsence from the Assemhly which 
he had intended to grace, said : " But one of the greatest discourage- 
ments we had from going tliitlier was the refusing of such lords and 


On the other hand, the king cast a bitter reproacli 
on those with Avhom he had been so gracious and genial 
in Arundel's tent. At a meeting of the English Privy 
Council he altered and denounced the account of the 
treaty as the Scots commissioners told it, as being 
" in most parts full of falsehood, dishonour, and scandal 
to his majesty's proceedings in the late pacification 
given of his majesty's princely grace and goodness to 
his subjects in Scotland." He called on the English 
commissioners who had been present to attest the 
falsehood of the account, and the minute of the meet- 
ing of Council records their testimony against its ac- 
curacy. In the end, " the whole board unanimously 
became humble petitioners to his majesty, that this 
false and scandalous paper might be publicly burnt by 
the hangman." ^ This was awkward treatment by the 
Government of England of what was virtually a State 
paper issued by the existing Government of Scotland. 
Then we are told that " the pulpits spoke it out very 
loudly, that the king had caused burn all the articles 
of the pacification at Berwick by the hand of the 
hangman after his return to London, which was be- 
lieved by very many, who upon that account looked 
upon the king as a truce-breaker, and from that time 
forwards contracted so great animosity against him 
that they thought him not to be trusted." ^ 

others of that nation whom we sent for to come to us to Berwick ; by 
which disobedience they manifestly discovered their distrust of us, and 
it cannot be thought reasonable that we should trust our person with 
those that distrusted us, after so many arguments and assurances of 
our goodness towards them." — His Majesty's Declaration concerning 
his Proceedings with his Subjects of Scotland since his Pacification 
in the Camp near Berwick; Eushworth, 1018. 

' Eushworth, iii. 965, 966. 

2 Gordon's Scots Affairs, iii. 31. 


The next stage in the progress of events is the hold- 
ing first of a General As.scmbly, and next of a meeting 
of the Estates. The king had announced that he was 
to be present at both, but he changed his intention. 
Hamilton was again desired to act as Commis- 
sioner, but he declined the trust. It was natural, and 
perhaps becoming, that neither the king nor his com- 
missioner who had professed to close the previous 
Assembly should preside, since the business to be 
transacted was a formal surrender of all that tlie 
royal prerogative had asserted for upwards of thirty 
years in the ecclesiastical organisation of Scotland. 

The Assembly met at Edinburgh on the 12th of 
August, with the Earl of Traquair as commissioner. 
As in the Assembly of 1638, care was taken to exclude 
the uncovenanted, and the process had become far less 
troublesome since the spirit of opposition was dead. 
Comj)ared, indeed, with the other, this Assembly 
resembled a conclave of official persons who have to 
record and put in order the resolutions over which a 
great battle has been fought, with debates, musters of 
attendance, and anxious voting. The commissioner 
recommended brevity and expedition in the work to 
be accomplished. In the spirit of getting quickly over 
a disagreeable but necessary business, he suggested 
" that all these evils which were the grievances might 
be viewed together and included under one Act." It 
was conceded to the king, that although they were 
virtually met to confirm the Acts of the Assembly 
of 1638, it should not be referred to in the Acts 
of the new Assembly, however it might be mentioned 
in debate. Also, that in confirming the abolition of 
Episcopacy, nothing should be said abusive of that 


form of Churcli government as Popish or otherwise, 
but that it should be simply condemned as " contrary 
to the constitution of the Church of Scotland." The 
same negative courtesy was to be rendered to the 
Court of High Commission and to the abolished 

In this spirit an Act was passed " containing the 
causes and remedies of the bygone evils of this Kirk." 
It enumerated the Articles of Perth, the establishment 
of Bishops, the Service-book, Book of Canons, and the 
other grievances of which we have seen so much 
already, and declared them to be " still" abjured and 
unlawful. A little dramatic scene was prepared for 
the inauguration of this completion of the revolution. 
After " Mr Andrew Cant, having a strong voice," had 
read the Act, some of the clergy present, including 
certain venerable ministers who had witnessed the per- 
fection of the Presbyterian polity in the days of the 
Melvilles, were desired to " speak their judgment" on 
what had been accomplished. The voices of some of 
these men had been known of old, but in later times 
had been lost in the storm that had overtaken their 
favourite polity. Among these were Alexander Som- 
erville, Harry RoUock, John Row, John Bell, William 
Livingston, and John Ker. As a fair specimen of these 
grave rejoicings, we may take the contribution made to 
them by John Weems, a man unknown in debate or 
polemics, but a scholar and a patient worker in Biblical 
criticism : " Mr John Weems called on, could scarce 
get a word spoken for tears trickling down along his 
grey hairs like drops of rain or dew upon the top of 
the tender grass, and yet withal smiling for joy, 
said : ' I do remember when the Kirk of Scotland 


had a beautiful face. I remember since there was 
a great power and life accompanying the ordinances 
of God, and a wonderful work of operation upon the 
hearts of people. These, my eyes, did see a fearful de- 
fection after, procured by our sins, and no more did I 
wish before my eyes were closed but to have seen such 
a beautiful day. Blessed for evermore be our Lord 
and King, Jesus ; and the blessing of God be upon his 
majesty, and the Lord make us thankful.'" On this 
the moderator, ]\Ir David Dickson, said : " I believe 
the king's majesty made never the heart of any man 
so blyth in giving them a bishopric as he has made 
the heart of that reverend man joyful in putting them 
away; and I am persuaded, if his majesty saw you 
shedding tears for blythness, he should have more 
pleasure in you nor in some of those that he has given 
great things unto." Thereupon "old Mr John Bell, 
in Glasgow, said : ' My voice nor my tongue cannot 
express the joy of my heart to see this torn-down Kirk 
restored to her beauty. The Lord make us thankful. 
Lord bless his majesty and commissioner.' " " Old Mr 
Livingston," also, had seen the ancient glory, and 
mourned under the eclipse, and now he had lived to 
see the brightness, ending : " And now I have seen it, 
and bless the Lord for it, and begs the blessing from 
heaven upon our gracious sovereign." ^ 

Such was the extinction of Episcopacy as enacted 
before the world. But before we understand the full 
policy of the surrender, we must seek help from some 
documents which did not so frankly court the light — 
<locuments that, had they been known in that Assem- 
bly, would have been apt to extijiguisli the ardour of 

' Peterkin's Eecords, 250-52. 


the thanks and blessings bestowed on the king. Of 
date the 6th of August — six days before the opening of 
the Assembly — there existed a letter by the king to 
Spottiswood, who had been Archbishop of St Andrews, 
and still was addressed as " right trusty and well- 
beloved councillor and reverend father in God." It 
was an answer to an address sent by the Scottish 
bishops through Laud as their mediator; and the 
scroll of the letter was to be seen in Burnet's day, in 
the handwriting of Hamilton, " interlined in some 
places by my Lord of Canterbury." The king begins 
by telling them that he cannot comply with their 
proposal to prorogate the Assembly — the political 
conditions render that impossible. At the same time 
he does not see the use of their attempting to hold a 
meeting — in Scotland it would be dangerous, in Eng- 
land unproductive. Nor would he liave them venture 
into the Assembly. With all this discouragement, he 
says : " We do hereby assure you that it shall be still 
one of our chiefest studies how to rectify and establish 
the government of that Church aright, and to repair 
your losses, which we desire you to be most confident 
of." Then, to show that these are not mere vague ex- 
pressions of goodwill, he instructs them how to begin 
in secret to aid him in the work of restoration, thus : 
" We conceive that the best way will be for your lord- 
ships to give in by way of protestation and remonstrance 
your exceptions against this Assembly and Parliament 
to our commissioner, which may be sent by any mean 
man, so he be trusty and deliver it at his entering 
into the church ; but we would not have it be read 
or argued in this meeting, where nothing but partial- 
ity is to be expected, but to be represented to us by 


him, wliicli we promise to take so in consideration as 
becometh a prince sensible of bis own interest and 
honour, joined with tlie equity of your desires. And 
you may rest secure, that though we may perhaps give 
way for the present to that which will be prejudicial 
both to the Church and our own Government, yet wc 
shall not leave thinking in time how to remedy both." ^ 

The task assigned to Traquair was delicate, and, 
looking to the temper of those who had undisputed 
command in Scotland, also perhaps dangerous. He 
would naturally desire directions in writing on the 
point, in addition to whatever he might derive from 
verbal conference. But such directions would require 
to be cautiously expressed ; for any document from the 
king regulating the conduct and procedure of his 
representative in Scotland would not so easily be kept 
private as the hint given to the poor bishops. Hence 
this enigmatical instruction : " In giving way to the 
abolishing of Episcopacy, be careful that it be done 
Avithout the appearing of any warrant from the bishops; 
and if any offer to appear for them, you are to inquire 
into their warrant, and carry the dispute so as the 
conclusion seem not to be made in prejudice of Epis- 
copacy as unlawful, but only in satisfaction to the 
people for settling the present disorders and such 
other reasons of State ; but herein you must l3e careful 
that our intentions appear not to any." ^ 

After they had concluded the great work, the As- 
sembly had yet something of moment to do ere they 
separated. The king had come before the world in a 
new shape — as a controversial pamphleteer. Things 
had come forth from him, or at least in his name, 

^ Burnet's Memoirs, 154. - Iljid., 150. 

THE king's large DECLARATION, 1639. 75 

against whicli it behoved them to lift their testimony. 
As the king marched northward, a " Declaration" had 
been circulated in England vindicating his resort to 
arms. Whether wisely or not, it appealed to the spirit 
of High Church and divine right as political influences 
still powerful in England, and treated the Covenanters 
somewhat bitterly, saying of their fundamental charter : 
'"' AVhich Covenant of theirs they have treacherously 
induced many of our people to swear to a band against 
us ; which band and Covenant, or rather conspiracy 
of theirs, could not be with God, being against us, the 
Lord's anointed over them. But it was and is a band 
and Covenant pretended to be with God, that they may 
with the better countenance do the work of the devil, 
such as all treasons and rebellions are." There were 
appeals to other and more material English doctrines 
or prejudices. He pointed lastly to " their most hostile 
preparations of all kinds, as if we were not their king- 
but their sworn enemy; for what can their intentions 
be, being thus prepared, but to invade this kingdom, 
should they not find us ready both to resist their force 
and to curb their insolences 1 For many, and some 
of the ehiefest among them, are men not only of un- 
quiet spirits, but of broken fortunes, and would be 
very glad of any occasion — especially under the colour 
of religion — to make them whole upon the lands and 
goods of our subjects in England, who, we presume, 
besides their allegiance to us, will look better to them- 
selves and their estates than to share them with such 
desperate hypocrites, who seek to be better, and cannot 
well be worse." This document, called "The Short 
Declaration," announced that " there is a large Declara- 
tion coming forth, containing all the particular passages 


which have occurred in this business from the begin- 
ning, attested with their own foul acts, to disannul 
and shame their fair but false words." ^ 

The " Large Declaration" thus announced, though it 
professed to expound from the same text, is a document 
of a different kind. It is a folio volume containing 
more than four hundred pages. Every student of the 
history of the period knows it well, since it is not only 
of interest and moment as a declaration of the royal 
policy, but it contaiiis in a consecutive form the docu- 
ments which lie scattered in several collections. The 
Large Declaration is a patient and precise narrative — 
tedious no doubt, but prepossessing in its tediousness, 
as testifying to an honest desire to leave nothing un- 
told or doubtful. The statements in it are suj)ported 
throughout by abundant documents, the accurate ren- 
dering of which has not been questioned. It is the 
story of a magnanimous sovereign, the father of his 
people, dealing with his erring subjects. Some are 
selfish and aggrandising, others merely petulant and 
factious. He has on his side all the maxims. Scrip- 
tural and traditional, which require the people to obey 
the powers that are ordained to rule over them. If it 
be that he is changing some things either in Church or 
State, it is to remedy confusions and irregularities, and 
to restore sound order. But above all, he, the supreme 
ruler, has been meek and forbearing, while those whose 
duty it was to obey have been arrogant and dictato- 
rial. If he has erred, it is in passive endurance rather 
than in anger. Into this, his error, he has been led 
by the Christian spirit of mercy and forgiveness. He 

' Bibliotheca Regia, 173 et seq. 

THE king's large DECLARATION, 1639. 'J'J 

has been long-suffering, that he might spare the blood 
of his rebellious subjects, and leave them an opportu- 
nity for penitence and a return to duty. 

The Large Declaration would, in fact, be a complete 
vindication of the Government of Charles I. in his 
dealing with Scotland, were its primary conditions 
accepted. Grant that he had the right to do what he 
was doing, it is shown that he did it in an amiable, 
considerate, and generous spirit. Whoever admitted 
that he was an absolute monarch, woi;ld readily ad- 
mit, on the showing of the Large Declaration, that 
he had borne his faculties meekly in the fulfilling of 
his great office. 

Had this book come from a triumphant cause, it 
would have been a triumphant vindication. Such as 
it is, it was well suited to establish the righteousness 
of the king's position in the monarchical States of 
Europe. In Spain and France, in the greater part of 
Germany, and even in the Scandinavian kingdoms, 
constitutional law and practice would not be under- 
stood as legitimate barriers to a king's prerogative. 
They would be seen only as old troublesome abuses, 
such as it might be counted meritorious in a govern- 
ment to sweep away. The Declaration was adorned 
with some touches of sarcasm ; but in these, also, there 
was taste and discretion, since they were directed not 
against the graver objects and acts of the Covenanters, 
but asainst the feminine riots, and some of the eccen- 
tricities apt to break out among communities in a state 
of excitement. Hence there are here preserved some 
features of the times on which the historians of the 
Covenant are not explicit — such as the performances 


of a Mrs Margaret Nicholson, who was subject to fits 
of raving which passed for prophetic trances.^ 

It was known that the Large Declaration was the 
work of Walter Balcanquall, a Scotsman who was 
rising step by step in the English hierarchy. He had 
become Deau of Durham when the Declaration was 
published. Thus the arrow was discharged by one 
who seemed to have removed himself into a place of 
safety from the coming vengeance ; but this did not 
tend to appease the rage of the brethren. Their 
method of giving it vent is perhaps the oddest of all 
their disputative exhibitions, and is of a kind so far apart 
from the usual tenor of political or theological contro- 
versy, that had it come from persons less grave and 
earnest, it might have been suspected of a latent spirit 
of jocular sarcasm. They charged the Declaration as an 
offence perpetrated against the king, whose name had 
been foully used for the factious purposes of the au- 
thor. On this view of the case they presented another 

' " The multitude was made believe her words proceeded not from 
herself but from God. Thence was that incredible concourse of all sorts of 
people — noblemen, gentlemen, ministers, women of all ranks and quali- 
ties — who watched or sta) ed by her day and night during the time of her 
pretended fits, and did admire her raptures and inspirations as coming 
from heaven. She spake but at certain times, and many times had inter- 
missions of days and weeks, in all probability that she might have time to 
receive instructions, and to digest them against the next time of exercis- 
ing her gifts, as they call them, which, so soon as she was ready to begin, 
the news of it was blown all the town over, and the house so thronged 
that thousands at every time could find no access. The joy which her 
auditors conceived for the comfort of such a messenger from heaven, and 
such messages as she delivered from thence, was many times expressed 
to them in tears, by none more than by Rolloc, her special favourite, who 
being desired sometimes by the spectators to pray with her, and speak 
to her, answered that he durst not do it, as being no good manners in 
him to speak while his Master was sjieaking in her." — Large Declaration, 

THE king's large DECLARATION, 1639. 79 

of their countless supplications to the throne. They 
appealed to his majesty as " so much wronged by the 
many foul and false relations suggested and persuaded 
to him as truths, and by stealing the protection of his 
royal name and authority to the doctrine of such a 
book." On this ground they called upon him "to be 
pleased first to call in the said book, and thereby to 
show his dislike thereof ; next, to give commission 
and warrant to all such parties as are either known 
or suspect to had hand in it, and to appoint such as 
his majesty knows to be either authors, informers, 
or any ways accessary, being natives of this kingdom, 
to be sent hither to abide their trial and censure be- 
fore the judge ordinary — and in special Mr Walter 
Balcanquall, now Dean of Durham, who is known 
and hath professed to be the author, at least avower 
and maintainer of a great part thereof — that by their 
exemplar punishment others may be deterred from 
such dangerous courses as in such a way to raise sedi- 
tion betwixt the king and his subjects, God's honour 
may be vindicate from such high contempt, his ma- 
jesty's justice may appear not only in cutting away 
such malefactors, but in discouraging all such rmder- 
miners of his throne, his loyal and loving subjects 
shall be infinitely contented to be cleared before the 
world of so false and unjust imputations, and will live 
hereafter in the greater security when so dangerous a 
cause of sedition is prevented, and so will have the 
greater and greater cause to pray for his majesty's 
long and prosperous reign." ^ 

It would be interesting to know whether, on such 
minds as that of Charles and Laud, a sense of the 

1 Peterkin's Records, 206. 

8o CHARLES r. 

ludicrous might have lightened up the gloomy scene 
on the reception of such a " supplication." We are 
fortunate in possessing some morsels of the debate, if 
so it can be called where all are of one mind, which 
ended in this supplication : — 

" Mr Andrew Cant said : ' It is so full of gross ab- 
surdities that I think hanging of the author should 
prevent all other censures.' 

" The moderator answered : ' That punishment is 
not in the hands of Kirkmen.' 

" The Sheriff of Teviotdale being asked his judgment, 
said: 'Ye were offended with a Churchman's hard 
sentence already ; but truly I could execute that sen- 
tence with all my heart, because it is more proper to 
me, and I am better acquainted with hanging.' 

" My Lord Kirkcudbright said : ' It is a great pity 
that many honest men in Christendom for writing- 
little books called pamphlets should want ears, and 
false knaves for writing such volumes should brook 
heads.' " This was a reference to the fate of Prynne, 
Burton, and Bastwick. Hence " the Assembly, after 
serious consideration of the great dishonour to God, 
this Church, and kingdom, by the said book, did con- 
descend upon a supplication." ^ 

One other item of business was transacted ere this 
Assembly dispersed. They expressed their thanks for 
the goodness of the Secret Council in resolving at 
their request to enforce subscription to the Covenant 
by penalties. They therefore, " considering the great 
happiness which may How from a full and perfect union 
of this Kirk and kingdom by joining of all in one and 
the same Covenant with God, with the king's majesty, 

' Peterkin's Records, 268. 

PARLIAMENT, 1 639-40. 8 1 

and among ourselves," ordain that " all the masters 
of universities, colleges, and schools, all scholars at 
the passing of their degrees, all persons suspect of 
Papacy or any other error, and, finally, all the mem- 
bers of this Kirk and kingdom, subscribe the same." ^ 
Nothinsf now remained to be done for the rebuild- 
ing of the fallen Zion except the sanction of the 
Estates. They had, according to an arrangement 
with the Government, assembled on the 15th of May. 
They had been twice adjourned by the Crown without 
oifering resistance ; but now, on their reassembling at 
the end of August, it was deemed prudent to let them 
proceed to business. The riding of the Parliament, 
and all the solemnities, especially those due to royalty, 
were performed with exactness and more than custom- 
ary splendour. A fact having no political origin of the 
time gave a casual lustre to that Parliament. Hitherto 
the Estates had met in the dingy recesses of the Tol- 
booth. Now for the first time they occupied the great 
hall, with its fine roof-work of oaken beams, which has 
ever since been one of the glories of Edinburgh.^ 

1 Peterkin's Records, 208. 

^ That versatile scholar and amusing author, James Howell, was pre- 
sent on the occasion, and mentions it in his celebrated ' Familiar Let- 
ters.' He talks of the "fair Parliament House built here lately," and 
the general regret that its opening was not rendered auspicious by the 
presence of the king. "This town of Edinburgh," he says, "is one of 
the fairest streets that ever I saw, excepting that of Palermo, in Sicily. 
It is about a mile long, coming sloping down from the castle to Holy- 
rood House, now the royal palace ; and these two begin and terminate 
the town. I am come hither on a very convenient time ; for here's a 
national Assembly and a Parliament, my Lord Traquair being his ma- 
jesty's commissioner. The bishops are all gone to rack, and they have 
had but a sorry funeral. The very name is grown so contemptible that 
a black dog, if he hath any white marks about him, is called Bishop. 
Our Lord of Canterbury is grown here so odious that they call him com- 
monly in the pulpit the piiest of Baal and the son of Belial." — P. 276. 

VOL. VIl. F 


This Parliament was short and disputatious. The 
first contest was about the constitution of the com- 
mittee called the Lords of the Articles. The com- 
missioner called the Lords aside into a separate apart- 
ment. The other Estates sent messengers to know the 
reason of this act. They were answered, that the first 
Estate, with the commissioner, were selecting the Lords 
of the Articles who were to serve for the other two 
Estates, according to usage. It was denied that this 
was an old usage — it was an innovation of later times, 
which Ijehoved to be abated, so that each Estate might 
choose its own representatives in the Committee of 
Articles. The members were, however, anxious to 
enter on business ; and knowing that they could bring 
their majority at any time to mould and control what- 
ever might be done, they yielded the cjuestion of the 
constitution of the committee for this one Parliament, 
protesting against the arrangement as a precedent. 

The next dispute was on an Act of indemnity. The 
commissioner would have it take the form of a royal 
pardon graciously extended by his majesty to his err- 
ing subjects who had rebelled against him. Naturally 
the triumphant party repudiated this view ; they held 
that all their acts had been legal, and it was merely to 
obviate any further cavilling on the point that they 
desired to have them confirmed by Act of Parliament. 
A crowd of other disputed projects followed. It had 
been suspected that , the king intended to bring over 
English favourites and supporters to deal with his 
troublesome subjects in Scotland. It was proposed 
to restrict tlie prerogative right of conferring honours 
on strangers, and that the castles of Edinburgh, 
►Stirling, and Duraljarton should be intrusted to no 

PARLIAMENT, 1640. 83 

governors but Scotsmen born, appointed by Act of 
Parliament. It was proposed to settle in tlie negative 
a disputed right claimed by the Crown to fix the 
customs duties payable on foreign merchandise, and to 
limit the power of pardoning criminals, and protect- 
ing debtors from molestation by their creditors, also 
claimed by the Crown. 

The commissioner sent to Court for instructions. 
The king said he perceived that the cause of their 
own peculiar religion was no longer the influencing 
motive of the party in power, and " that nothing 
would give them content but the alteration of the 
whole frame of government in that kingdom, and 
withal the total overthrow of royal authority." ^ The 
commissioner was therefore instructed to adjourn the 
Parliament until the 2d of June 1640. The Estates 
complied with the adjournment, protecting themselves 
by the old safeguard of a protestation. In this docu- 
ment, and the king's defence uttered in answer to it, 
the characteristic most remarkable to one accustomed 
to the documents of that period is the vague and 
didactic character of the reasoning on both sides, and 
the absence of the close argiiment from precedent that 
is so satisfying a feature in the documents connected 
with the English Long Parliament. 

On the 2d of June 1640 the Estates reassembled 
accordingly. The king sent from London instructions 
to adjourn or prorogue the meeting. But the official 
persons whose signatures and sealings authenticated 
and recorded such writs either would not or dared not 
act. The members of Parliament knew, as people 
know the ucaa^s of the day, that the king had issued 

1 Gordon's Scots Affairs, iii, 7J. 


such an instruction ; but it was not formally and 
oificially before them, and did not enter on their 
records. The day fixed for reassembling was on 
record, not the adjournment or the prohibition to 
assemble. At almost every stejD of its proceedings 
this Parliament takes the opportunity to state that 
it is "indicted by his majesty," or " convened by his 
majesty's special authority;" and the restoration of 
this apologetic assertion gives a touch of the ludicrous 
to its grave proceedings. There was no commissioner 
to represent royalty at this assemblage. In the Scots 
Parliament the commissioner's office was rather that 
of the Lord Chancellor's in the House of Lords of 
England, than the Speaker's in the House of Com- 
mons. They elected Kobert, Lord Burleigh, "to be 
president of this meeting of Estates in Parliament," 
and his position partook both of the Chancellor's and 
the Speaker's in England. 

Thus, in the king's name, and, technically speak- 
ing, under his authority, the Estates began the Par- 
liamentary war with him. Though small was the 
respect held by the English Parliamentary formalists 
for the Scots Estates and their slovenly practice, it 
could not be but that the Long Parliament, when it 
found itself in an almost parallel difficulty, should 
look with interest to the course taken by the Scots. 
And here, as in several other instances, Scotland kept 
a step before England in the way towards the great 

The king, in his Large Declaration, had announced 
a practical difficulty that must beset a Parliament with- 
out bishops. There were three Estates — the Prelates, 
the Barons, and the Burgesses. The division into 

PARLIAMENT, 1640. 85 

three was essential to the method of transacting busi- 
ness. It was maintained by some that nothing could 
be carried in the Scots Parliament unless there were 
in its favour a majority in each one of the three 
Estates. It was not doubted that a majority in two 
of the three was necessary. This made, in passing 
from the votes of the individual members to the votes 
of the Estates, a majority of two to one on any ques- 
tion. If there were a majority for the measure among 
the ecclesiastics and the barons, though the majority 
Avere the other way among the burgesses, the collective 
vote would stand two to one ; and so if the barons 
and the burgesses, or the prelates and the burgesses, 
had majorities in common. There was a practical 
utility not to be lightly sacrificed in the three cham- 
bers. It was the same utility that taught the Eomans 
to hold that three make a corporation. Where there 
are three there is a certainty that every vote will be 
sanctioned by a majority of two to one. Accordingly 
the Estates immediately rearranged themselves into 
three chambers. The greater barons, holding seats 
by tenure, were called the nobility ; those who, like 
the knights of the shire in England, represented the 
smaller freeholders, were called " the barons." The 
burgesses were the third Estate. This reorganisa- 
tion of the supreme Legislature was set forth in 
terms evidently well weighed and adjusted. They 
framed " an Act anent the constitution of this Parlia- 
ment, and all subsequent Parliaments." The Act be- 
gins with a characteristic preamble, how " the Estates 
of Parliament presently convened by his majesty's 
special authority, considering this present Parliament 
was indicted by his majesty for ratifying of such Acts 


as should be concluded in the late Assembly of the 
Kirk, for determining all civil matters, and settling all 
such things as may conduce to the public good and 
peace of this Kirk and kingdom." The Acts of the 
General Assembly, for the ratification of which the 
king had cited this Parliament, had excluded the 
l)ishops from the Kirk ; and, whether that exclusion 
was lawful or not until the Estates confirmed it, in 
point of fact the bishops were not present, and the 
Estates must transact business without them. There- 
fore they determine " this present Parliament, holden 
by the nobility, barons, and l^urgesses, and their 
commissioners — the true Estates of the kingdom — to 
be a complete and perfect Parliament, and to have 
the same power, authority, and jurisdiction as any 
Parliament formally hath had within this kingdom in 
time bygone.'" ^ 

There had in former times been meetings of the 
Estates uncountenanced by royalty. We have seen 
that the Reformation of 1560 was carried at such a 
meeting ; but we have also seen that when the re- 
gency of 1.567 was established, it was deemed prudent 

1 It would appear that much of the business to be transacted in this 
Parliament had been put in shape before it was known that it would 
not have the royal countenance. To tlie Record edition of the Act 
above cited there is this note : " The waiTants of this Act, and of many 
of the subsequent Acts of this Parliament, originally set forth the 
enacting authority in the usual style, commencing, ' Our Sovereign Lord 
and Estates of Parliament.' They were altered before the passing of the 
Acts, to meet the circumstances under which the Parliament was then 
assembled." — Act. Pari., v. 259. In the superseded Record edition of 
the Acts this alteration is visible, since the editor of that volume had 
only the warrants, not the Acts, before him ; and he faithfully printed 
the erasures and interlineations. I am indebted to the courtesy of the 
Lord Clerk Register for tlie use of the new edition of the rescinded Acts, 
not yet completed for jniljlication. 

PARLIAMENT, 1640. 87 

to re-enact the legislation of that year. All questions 
relating to the participation of royalty in the delibera- 
tions of the Estates, and the necessity of the royal as- 
sent to their Acts, were surrounded by dubiety. Now, 
however, for the first time, the Estates defied the Crown. 
It was natural that, assembled under such conditions, 
they should record a vindication of their position. 
They asserted that the Crown had taken the first 
step a-gainst precedent by seeking forcibly to bring the 
sittings of 1639 to an end, and that the Estates them- 
selves had shown the spirit of peace and conciliation 
in agreeing to adjourn when they Avere not bound to 
do so.^ They had sent two commissioners, the Lords 
Dunfermline and Loudon, to Court to explain their 
position. These messengers were asked if they came 
with authority from the king's commissioner, Traquair ; 
and when it was explained that they had no authority 
from him, but rejoresented the Estates of Scotland, 
they were refused an audience, and sent back. This 
was deemed an act of contumely such as that great 

1 The words in which they assert their constitutional position are 
remarkable, and whatever might be said for or against them on pre- 
cedent in Scotland, are not to be judged of b}' the English practice of 
Parliament : " Because, contrary to our expectation, John, Earl of 
Traquair, his majesty's commissioner, did take upon him, without con- 
sent of the Estates, upon a jirivate warrant procured by himself against 
his majesty's public patent under the great seal, to prorogate the Parlia- 
ment to this second day of June, our duty both to king and country 
did constrain us to make a public declaration in face of Parliament, 
bearing that the prorogation of the Parliament without consent of the 
Estates was against the laws and liberties of the kingdom, was without 
precedent, example, and practice in this kingdom, . . . and that 
whatsoever we might have done by the laudable example of our prede- 
cessors in the like exigency and extremity, without any just offence to 
authority, yet that our proceedings might be far from all appearance of 
giving his majesty the smallest discontent, we notwithstanding did choose 
to cease for that time from our public proceedings in Parliament." 


assemblage, the Estates of the realm, had never been 
required to endure at the hands of any monarch. But 
on the other side it eould be pleaded that they were 
messengers sent not to the king only, and that they 
would take the opportunity of their presence in Lon- 
ilon to say a word or two in secret to the party in 
England who ^\'ere preparing work for the Long Par- 
liament. It was farther pleaded by the Estates in 
their justification, that their reassembling on the 2d 
of June was a virtual bargain between them and the 
king ; and it never yet was known that if one party 
to a bargain failed to fulfil his part, the other was 
precluded from carrying out the arrangement if it 
had the power to do so.^ 

It was asserted by the Estates that everything was 
done on their part that could be done to keep peace, 
while his majesty's evil advisers were doing their best 
to foment discord : " Scandalous relations of our 
Parliamentary proceedings have been made at the 
council-table of England, and the benefit of hearing 
before the Council denied to our commissioners. Great 
violence and outrage done by the Castle of Edinburgh, 
not only against men and buildings, but women and 
children. Our ships and goods taken at sea, and the 
owners strijjped naked and barbarously used. A com- 
mission given for sul^duing and destroying of this 
whole kingdom. All things devised and done that 
may make a rupture and irreconcilable war betwixt 
the two kingdoms. Our commissioners hardly used 

' Tlie Estates in their justification said tlie commissioner has assured 
thein that the king would keep his " royal promise," and seemed " to be 
so far from judging it unlawful to us to jjroceed at the day appointed, 
in case we should be postponed and frustrated by new prorogations, that 
he made often and open profession that he would join witli us therein." 

PARLIAMENT, 1640. 89 

while they were in England by restraints put upon 
them, and the Lord Loudon still imprisoned. No 
answer given unto them or returned unto us touching 
our just demands, but in place thereof a declaration 
given out denouncing war, and provoking the other 
two kingdoms to come against us as traitors and 
rebels. And when we had patiently endured all these 
evils in hopes of some better news at this 2d of June, 
appointed for sitting of the Parliament, hearing no- 
thing from his majesty or his majesty's commissioner, 
either to settle this kingdom according to the articles 
of pacification, or to interrupt our proceedings;" there- 
fore, for acquitting themselves of the great trust com- 
mitted to them, " and for preventing the utter ruin 
and desolation of this Kirk and kingdom," they are 
constrained in the great exigency to abide together 
until the business before them is completed.^ 

Before beginning with their legislative business, the 
Estates indorsed the Assembly's testimony against the 
Large Declaration, finding it " to be dishonourable to 
God and His true religion, to this Kirk and kingdom, 
to the king's majesty and to the Marquis of Hamilton, 
then his majesty's commissioner, and divers other 
persons therein, and to be full of lies." And they 
ordained " the authors and spreaders thereof to be 
most severely punished, according to the laws of this 
kingdom against leasing- makers betwixt the king's 
majesty and his subjects, slanderers of the king and 
kingdom, and raisers of sedition and discord between 
them ; that all others may be deterred from such dan- 
gerous courses, God's honour may be vindicated, the 
innocency of the Kirk and kingdom, and his majesty's 

1 Act. Pari., Revised Record Edit., v. 256, 257. 


justice and goodness may appear not only in censuring 
such malefactors, but in discouraging all such under- 
miners of his majesty's throne, and abusers of his 
royal name, by prefixing the same to such scandalous 
and dishonourable treatises." ^ 

The Estates confirmed the proceedings of the As- 
sembly, and adopted the Covenant as an Act, requir- 
ing all citizens to subscribe it under civil penalties 
against defaulters. They began the application of this 
test with themselves, requiring that each member of 
the Estates should subscribe it, all who failed to do so 
being disqualified to sit and vote — a rule to apply to all 
subsequent meetings of the Estates. They facilitated 
the importation of arms, and organised a system of 
taxation in which defaulters were to be treated as 
" non-Covenanters." They passed an Act establishing 
triennial Parliaments. Arrangements were made for 
the distribution of the vacated revenues of the bishops, 
and the other secular rights affected by the depositions 
passed by the Asseml)ly. Care was had formally to 
ratify all things, whether of a civil or a military char- 
acter, in furtherance of tlie Covenanting cause, and 
to denounce as illegal all things done on the other 
side. A distinct infusion of Puritanical spirit is vis- 
ible in this Parliament in the matter of legislation 
for Sabbath observance. 

Before separating, they passed what afterwards 
proved to be among the most important of their Acts. 
It appointed a permanent " Committee of Estates " to 
act when Parliament was not sitting. It consisted of 
so many from each of the three Estates, according to 
the new division. This powerful body was compact 

' Act. Pari., Revised Record Edit., v. 264. 


and movable, and was to act " in the camp " as well 
as at the seat of Government. Having sat till the 
11th of June, the Estates adjourned till November. 

In their vindication allusion was made to the deten- 
tion in prison of the Earl of Loudon. This arose out 
of a transaction which calls for notice. The politi- 
cal relations between England and France had become 
precarious and lowering. The chief interest which af- 
fected England abroad at that time concerned not the 
nation but the royal family — it was the position of 
the king's sister, the newly-widowed wife of the Elec- 
tor Palatine, and of her son, the heir to the fortunes 
and misfortunes of that house. England could not be 
got to join France and the northern powers against 
Austria and Spain, and the reason of this was said 
to be that Charles was persuaded that he had more 
to hope for the Palatinate from these two powers than 
from France. Richelieu, indeed, had struck a strong 
and very offensive blow in seizing the young Prince 
Palatine as he passed through France in disguise ; it 
was said that he was on his way to the Duke of Wei- 
mar, as the bearer of proffers to induce that dealer in 
mercenary troops to transfer his contingent from the 
service of France to that of Austria. It was just at 
this time that, by an intercepted letter. King Charles 
found that the Scots Covenanters were seeking aid 
from the King of France. The documents show that 
those concerned in this negotiation were Montrose, 
Rothes, Leslie the genera]. Mar, Montgomery, and 
Loudon.^ A certain "William Colville was accredited 

' One of the original papei-s still exists in the Wodrow collection of 
the Advocates' Library. The signature of "A. Leslie" has invited 
curiosity, because it was a Cavalier tradition that he was so illiterate as 


to tlie French Court to negotiate the affair. It has 
been supposed that it went no farther than the draft- 
ing of the proposals, and that they never reached 
France. But a recent French historian has found 
documents, on his own country's side of the negotia- 
tion, much more full in explanation of it than the few 
preserved in Britain.^ These proffers came to no 
practical result, because the Scots Covenanters found 
in England better friends than France could by any 
possibility give them. Had it been that a conquering 
and oppressing English army was to march over Scot- 
land, the landing of French troops in the country 
would have been a natural event. The scenes change, 
however, so rapidly in their display of new political 
conditions, that while the French ambassador in Eng- 
land is perplexed about the question whether the 
seizure there of Colville on his way to France should 
be resented, and about the intercourse to be held with 
the English malcontents as a means of annoying the 
Government, he has to turn suddenly to the considera- 
te be unable either to write or read. Lord Hailes, who rarely indulges 
in pleasantries, says ; " It is reported that once upon a march, passing 
by a house, he said, ' There is the house where I was taught to read.' 
'How, General!' said one of his attendants ; ' I thought that you had 
never been taught to read.' ' Pardon me,' cried lie ; 'I got the length 
of the letter G.' " — Memorials and Letters, Charles L, 61. There are 
letters from him, in a fair hand of the day, in the Lothian Papers. 

^ Eelations du Cardinal de Richeliea avec les Ecossois Covenantaires 
et le Parlement d'Angleterre ; Mazure, Histoire de la Revolution de 
1688 en Angleterre, iii. 402. Tlie author of this book notes with some 
surprise how little foreknowledge there was in the wise Richelieu of 
the consequences of helping to make the precedent for subjects resisting 
their sovereign : " Ces documents suflSsent sans doute pour montrer sous 
quel point de vue le Cardinal de Richelieu consideroit les troubles de 
I'Angleterre. II ]i'y voyoit pas la question de la royaute en peril, mais 
la question des interets de I'Autriche, auxquelles la Reine-niere et la 
Rcine d'Angleterre etoient devouees." — P. 428. 


tion of a new alarm prevailing in the Parliamentary 
party — the alarm that King Charles is to get assist- 
ance from a French army to establish despotic au- 
thority over England. 

The overture of men standing forth for civil liberty 
and the Presbyterian Covenant to a despot and a Papist, 
caused on its discovery much odium, which has ac- 
companied it into later times. But this odium arose 
on an English view of the affair. It was high treason, 
as Clarendon said, for subjects to treat with a foreign 
prince against their sovereign. No doubt it was so in 
England; but, as we have seen, the Estates in Scotland 
held tenaciously to foreign diplomacy, with the estab- 
lishing of peace or war, as a power of their own not 
deputed to the sovereign; and though the diplomatists 
. in this instance had not an Act of the Estates to justify 
them, they knew that they were doing what the Estates 
would confirm. Then, their appeal was to that ancient 
league with France which had never been solemnly 
revoked. Look at the issue between England and 
Scotland as it stood at the moment. No doubt the 
king had professed to abandon several of the points 
on which the quarrel had arisen. But every practical 
political man knew then, and every student of the 
times knows now, that had King Charles led a vic- 
torious English army over Scotland, he would have 
enforced on the country the Prelacy, the Service-book, 
the Canons, and the High Commission, and that he 
would have curtailed the power of the States and 
raised the royal prerogative above it. 

Hence it was the old story of the peril, and the 
appeal to the friend who had ever been prompt in 
time of peril. The English Crown having established 


tyrannical prerogatives and offensive observances in 
England, was sending an army into Scotland to sub- 
due the country and break its free inhabitants to the 
same rule. France could not forget that bloody field 
in which, when all seemed lost, these sturdy Scots had 
turned the tide against the same proud enemy. She 
could not forget how, for this and many another act of 
heroic kindness, she had reciprocated by effective help 
at that terrible crisis when the conquest designed by 
Henry VIII. in his tyrannic fury seemed coming to its 
completion. Here, again, was a like peril — would their 
friends of old be still their old friends ? In this light 
the appeal of the Covenanters to the Government of 
France was not to be counted as if a crew of factious 
fanatics sought to further their rebellion against their 
king and master by those who were the enemies of 
both, but most of all the enemies of themselves. It 
was the restrengthening of a bond that had been 
weakened, not broken — a resuscitation of an old 
loyal friendship which had softened with a touch 
of chivalry the selfish politics and cruel wars of 
feudal Europe. 

Perhaps they toned their appeal somewhat to suit 
foreign ears, when they said, as they did, that the Court 
of High Commission dealt forth tyranny and cruelty 
unequalled by the Inquisition in SjDain. But they 
repeated only what they never swerved from at home 
when they asserted their loyalty, saying that " our in- 
tentions are no way against monarchical government, 
but that we are most loyally disposed towards our 
sacred sovereign, whose personal authority we will 
maintain with our lives and fortunes ; but that all our 
desires reach no farther than the preservation of our 


religion and liberty of Church and kingdom established 
by the laws and constitution thereof." 

It was hardly to be expected that the English of 
that day could see the matter in this view, yet the 
Government Avent so far in the opposite direction as 
to commit one of the most dangerous pieces of folly 
committed in that period of blunders. The " Short 
Parliament " began with a denunciation of the Scots 
in strong terms as traitors and rebels. The king 
founded sadly fallacious hopes on the effect of produc- 
ing in that assembly the letters to France, and, as the 
chief object of holding a Parliament, demanded a large 
and immediate subsidy to provide for the war. The 
Commons, however, voted grievances before supplies, 
and the great charge of a treasonable correspondence 
with a foreign enemy passed unnoticed out of sight. 
But a worse thing was done. We have seen that the 
Lords Dunfermline and Loudon, when they went to 
Court after the Parliament of 1639, were sent away 
without a hearing. They were permitted to return, 
or, as it was said, ordered up to make explanations ; 
and when they were in attendance, Loudon was seized 
as one whose name was at the appeal to France, and 
committed to the Tower. Loudon said he had his 
pleas, which he was prepared to urge were he brought 
to trial in Scotland, but he could not be arraigned in 
England for his conduct as a Scottish subject. No 
doubt, sending him to Scotland for trial was equiva- 
lent to releasing him, but not the less would it be a 
national outrage to deal Avith him in England. There 
were whispers that he was to be put to death without 
trial, as an enemy found in the position of a spy ; and 
even this, though it might seem the harsher and more 


barl)arous fate, would scarce have been so deep a na- 
tional insult as putting a Scots statesman on trial in 
England for his actions in his own country. " There 
were," says Burnet, "some ill instruments about the 
king who advised him to proceed capitally against 
Loudon, which is believed went very far ; but the 
marquis opposed this vigorously, assuring the king 
that if that were done Scotland was for ever lost." 
The end was that Loudon was released untouched. 
AVe are not told the reason why the policy on which 
he was imprisoned was thus dropped ; but the affair 
was one of the many in Avhich the unfortunate mon- 
arch secured all that harvest of rancour that follows 
on a blow without having the satisfaction of dealing it.^ 
ThoiTgh this affair does not hold a large place in 
the usual histories of the civil war, it was one of the 
turning - points by which great conclusions were 
reached. According to Clarendon, it determined the 
king and his immediate advisers to call a Parliament. 
To meet the cost of a war both with France and Scot- 
land there was no other possible resource. Then the 
defence of England from a joint invasion of the French 
and Scots was a far more hopeful cry than the policy 
of sending an army to punish the pertinacious Scots. 

^ Claremlon makes one of his picturesqvie mysteries out of the "strat- 
agem," as he calls the release of Loudon : " This stratagem was never 
understood, and was then variously spoken of, many believing he had 
undertaken great matters for the king in Scotland, and to quiet that dis- 
temper. . . . They who published their thoughts least made no 
scruple of saying 'that if the policy were good an<l necessary of his first 
commitment, it seemed as just and prudent to have continued him in 
that restraint.' " — Vol. i. 144. Lord Northumberland, -writing to Lord 
Conway, says : " The enlargement of Lord Loudon causes a belief here in 
the world that we shall come to terms of accommodation with the Scots, 
but seriously I do not know that any such thing is intended." — Bruce's 
Notes, xix. 


We are told by Clarendon, that instantly on the dis- 
covery of the Scots appeal to France, the king " first 
advised with that committee of the Council which 
used to be consulted on secret affairs, what was to be 
done." The conclave thought a Parliament so urgent 
a necessity that on the same day the instruction was 
issued by the king in Council to the Lord-Keeper to 
issue the writs.^ These brouo;ht together the " Short 
Parliament" on the 3d of April 1640 ; but that day's 
work in Council ended in the assembling of the Long- 

It would be a satisfaction to have a fuller account 
than the ordinary histories afford of the condition and 
temper of England during the short interval between 
the two Parliaments. The latest voice from England 
on this point says : " What that condition really was, 
what the state of mind of the English people in 1640 
towards the king, the Government, and the Scots, and 
with reference to the then passing public events, is a 
question of the deepest historical interest," since " the 
treaty of Ripon cannot be understood without some 
knowledge upon this subject far different from that 
which can be acquired from the ordinary authorities." ^ 
I feel, as this author said, in reference to his own pro- 
vince, that the question " requires for its proper 
answer freer scope and a wider compass " than it can 
obtain in a history of Scotland. It belongs essentially to 

1 Clarendon, ed. 1705, i. 130, 131 ; ed. 1843, p. 53. That "committee 
wliicli used to be consulted on secret affairs " is the germ of the modern 
" Cabinet." 

^ Notes of the Treaty carried on at Ripon between King Charles I. 
and the Covenanters of Scotland, a.d. 1640, taken by Sir .John Borough, 
Garter King-of-Arms. Edited from the original MS. in the possession 
of Lieutenant - Colonel Carew, by John Bruce, Esq., E.S.A. Camden 
Society. Preface, p. viii. 

VOL. VII. a 


the history of England ; and it is there that it should be 
Avritten, so that the investigator in the peculiar region 
of Scottish history should be able to refer to it as finally 
adjusted and accepted by the English historians. As 
the matter stands, let us note what is to be readily 
found about the condition and temper of England at 
that time. It was shown by the Short Parliament 
itself, and more emphatically afterwards, that it was 
something very different from that sunny prospect 
which, according to Clarendon, soothed the king into 
an endurance of a thing so detested as a Parliament : 
" This long intermission, and the general composure of 
men's minds in a happy peace and universal plenty 
over the nation — superior, sure, to what any other na- 
tion ever enjoyed — made it reasonably be believed, not- 
withstanding the miirmurs of the people against some 
exorbitancies of the Court, that sober men, and such 
as loved the peace and plenty they were possessed of, 
would be made choice of to serve in the House of 
Commons ; and then the temjaer of the House of Peers 
was not to be apprehended." A farther propitious 
feature of the times was "the prejudice and general 
aversion over the whole kingdom to the Scots ; and 
the indignation they had at their presumption in their 
thought of invading England, made it believed that a 
Parliament would express a very sharp sense of their 
insolence and carriage towards the king, and provide 
remedies proportionable." ^ 

The organisation for collecting ship - money and 
other feudal dues had been made so comj^lete and 
commanding as to gather into the Exchequer all the 
money that could by any available interpretation of 

1 History, i. 130 ; ed. 184,3, p. 53. 


the law come within those imposts. The revenue 
from them seemed sufficient to sustain the Court and 
Grovernment in time of peace, but when war approached 
more was wanted. This more \vas to be obtained 
through a Parliament ; but the Parliament was dis- 
solved before it gave anything, and the effect of its 
discussions and abrupt dismissal appears to have been 
seriously to weaken the machinery for collecting the 
feudal dues, and to shake the credit of the Government 
with the moneyed world.^ The result is described by 
one on whom heavy responsibility lay — the Earl of 
Northumberland, who was to command the army of 
the north : " Most of the ways that were relied on 
for supplies of money have hitherto failed us, and for 
aught I know we are likely to become the most de- 

' This view, and the others following in the text, are founded on the 
passages from record authorities furnished by Mr Bruce as examples of 
the information available to the English historian. For instance, the 
Sheriff of Hereford explains that, " upon notice of the late Parliament, 
many of the chief-constables refused to levy the ship-money or come 
before the examinant " (xii.) The Sheriff of Derby says : " I find such 
opposition and evil-affectedness in the greatest part of the county, that 
since the dissolution of the last Parliament they do not forbear to dare 
me, and bid me distrain at my peril, giving forth threatening words 
against me" (xiv.) The Sheriff of Cornwall finds that "the constables 
make a very small return of ship-money; and when tliey distrain, very 
few would buy any of the goods, so that for want of pasture they were 
forced to return the cattle distrained to their owners again." The Sheriff 
of Cambridge reports that "in the execution of the .ship-money writ at Mel- 
bourne his bailiffs were assaulted by more than one hundred of the in- 
habitants, five or six of them grievously beaten, and all of them hardly 
escaping with their lives. The men dared not again go about that or 
any other business of his majesty ; and svich was the opposition in divers 
other parts of the county, that the sherifl' could not go through the ser- 
vice unless course were taken for suppressing such insurrections " (xvii.) 
The Sheriff of Oxford said that "wherever he came constables could 
not be found at home ; gates were chained, locked, or barricaded ; all 
officers refused to assist him, and the county would not pay but by dis- 
tress " (xix.) 


spised nation of Europe. To the regiments that are 
now rising, we, for want of money, have been able to 
advance but fourteen days' pay — the rest must meet 
them upon their march towards Selby, and for both 
the horse and foot already in the north we can for 
the present send them but seven days' pay." ^ A 
disinclination to render obedience to the Commission 
of Array seconded the unwillingness to submit to the 
feudal exactions. Whether from the sorry prospect of 
pay, or distaste for the service, those who were con- 
sidered liable to serve in the army resisted the con- 
scription ; and when embodied, they were often so 
mutinous as to be more dangerous to their officers than 
they were likely to be to the enemy. ^ 

It is significant of what was passing through the 
minds of some of these men al30ut events in England, 
and the reference of these to the service for wliicli 

' Ibid., xix. 

^ Northumberland says, with the eloquence of desperation : " The city 
of London, Kent, Surrey, Essex, Hertfordshire, Buckingham, and Bed- 
fordshire are so damnably restive that I doubt we shall not get near our 
number of men from these places ; the rest of the counties I hope will 
do reasonable well in raising their men " (xv.) Certain deputy-lieuten- 
ants coming to Bungay on press duty, say : " The soldiers fell into a mu- 
tiny, threatening our deaths, beset us in our chamber, tept a watch upon 
our horses, and waylaid us so as we were enforced to keep our chambers" 
(xv.) It is reported of six hundred conscripts from Dorsetshire, passing 
through Farringdon, in Berkshire, " they in a barbarous manner murdered 
Lieutenant Mahon, one of their company, and have threatened the rest 
of their commanders to put them to the sword, insomuch that they are 
all fled ; and the soldiers being now at liberty, in probaliility will much 
endanger the town and the country adjoining." While Northumberland 
writes to Conway : " Our troops are upon their march from some of the 
coimties, but I hear that they run so fast away that scarce half the num- 
ber will appear at the rendezvous in the north " (xvi.) Conway, writ- 
ing to Secretary Windbanli, puts this epigrammatic point to the whole 
wretched affair : " I fear unpaid soldiers more than I do the Scots and 
the devil to boot. God keep you from all three ! " (xxiv.) 


they were raised, that one cause of dangerous humours 
arising among them seems to have been a suspicion of 
Popish tendencies in their officers.^ 

It appears that among the practices for which these 
troops were troublesome was the destruction of those 
ecclesiastical decorations which associated the innovat- 
ing party in the Church with Popery. They seemed 
to be influenced by a desire to leave behind them 
in this shape a protest, that in marching against the 
Presbyterians in Scotland, they were not to be under- 
stood as fighting the battle of Laud and his party.^ 

■■ At Marlborough it is reported of the company under the command 
of Captain Drury, that suspecting him of Popery, they suggested that 
all should take the sacrament — according to the form of the Church of 
England, it is to be presumed : " The captain showing little inclination 
to that motion, at least for his own receiving, the soldiers pressed him so 
much the more to it ; and when they perceived he would not, they told 
him plainly, if so be he will not receive the communion, and jiray with 
them, they will not fight under him ; and in this manner they cashiered 
their captain" (xv.) An officer writing from Cirencester, saj's: "The 
Puritan rascals of the country had strongly possessed the soldiers that 
all the commanders of our regiment were Papists, so that I was forced 
for two or three days to sing psahns all the day I marched, for all their 
religion lies in a psalm" (xxii.) Other instances were more tragic, as in 
the report by the deputy-Ueu-tenants of Devon on the fate of Captain 
Evers at the hands of his own company: " Forbearing to go to church, 
they suspected him to be a Pap)ist, whereupon they set upon him and 
murdered him." " On endeavoui-ing to arrest four of them, above 
twenty others came forward declaring that they were all equally guUty, 
and if they would hang one they should hang all" (xx.) 

^ Lord Maynard reports to the Council that " the insolences of the 
soldiers billeted in Essex every day increase. Within these few days 
they have taken upon them to reform churches, and even in tlie time 
of divine service to pull do^vn the rails about the communion-tables." 
Lord Warwick reports to Secretary Vane an outrage of this kind attended 
by peculiar ingratitude : " Dr Barkham, parson of Bocking, having given 
the soldiers a barrel of beer and fifty shillings, I found them much dis- 
tempered by drink ; and in that distemper they went to his church and 
pulled up the rails about the communion-table, and brought these before 
their captain's lodging and l)Urnt them. The like they did to another 
town near thereunto" (xxiii.) 


The one ray of hope through these difficulties was 
in itself also of a dismal and desperate character. It 
was that the Scots mioiit be worse off than themselves, 
and so be routed and conquered before a close con- 
test should show the weakness of the English army. 
Northumberland casts aside his difficulties of detail 
about fortified posts by the general reflection : " But 
we are going upon a conquest with such a power, that 
nothing in that kingdom will be able to resist us."^ 

A point of extreme interest is naturally sought out 
through every scrap of internal information about 
England at that time. To what extent had the Scots, 
who began the great civil war, an understanding or 
alliance with the English Parliamentary party at this 
juncture? As the question might have been otherwise 
put at the time, how far had the rebels in Scotland 
made practical arrangements with their accomplices 
in England 1 Rumours were accepted here and con- 
tradicted there about a bond of co-operation with the 
Scots, signed by sixty-three men of note in the Parlia- 
mentary party. Burnet, in one of his circumstantial 
stories, tells how, when Dunfermline and Loudon were 
in London, the Lord Saville dealt with them in the 
name of the chiefs of the party, and showed a written 
obligation signed by some of them to co-operate with 
the Scots, if they would march into England. This 
was sent to Scotland by a confidential messenger, who 
concealed it in a hollowed walking-stick, and travelled 
as a pedlar. It Avas to be shown only to Argyle, 
Warriston, and Henderson. The document was spu- 
rious, and the signatures to it were all forged by 
Saville. In completing the story from the authorities 

' Ibid., viii. 


of the period, the exposure of the forgery makes a 
dramatic scene. At the treaty of Eipon the Scots 
reproach those who, after having invited them into 
England, instead of entering on mutual confidences, 
treated them as strangers. They denied the invita- 
tion, and Saville had to act the part of the detected 
forger. But this will not harmonise with another 
revelation, which, professing to give the papers that 
passed between the Scots and the Parliamentary 
leaders, imports that the Scots distinctly asked for 
assistance, and that it was as distinctly refused, 
although the refusal was so toned as to show a sym- 
pathy in their cause, and an anticipation that it might 
become the common cause of both countries.^ 

^ The story is told in Burnet's ' Summary of Affairs before the Restor- 
ation.' He gives it a circumstantial air by talking of Warriston, one of 
the parties to it, as his own uncle. Clarendon mentions it generally as 
one of the suspicions connected with Saville's evil reputation. The 
scene at Ripon is given in Nalson's Collection (ii. 427), "out of the 
Memoirs of the late Earl of Manchester, then Lord Mandeville, an actor 
in this affair." The opening of the scene is thus : " When the Scotch 
commissioners had passed the ceremonies and general civilities of the 
first meeting with the English commissioners, the Lord Loudoun and 
Sir Archibald Johnston applied themselves particularly to the Lord 
Mandeville, desiring him to give them a private meeting, that they might 
impart to him something of near concernment to himself and others the 
lords then present. This was readily granted ; and they then went to 
the Lord Mandeville's lodging, where being set together, the Lord Lou- 
doun began with very severe expostulations, charging the Earls of Bedford, 
Essex, and Warwick, the Lord Yiscount Say and Scale, the Lord Brook, 
Saville, and himself, with the highest breach of their promises and en- 
gagements, professing that they had never invaded England but upon 
confidence of their keeping faith with them, according to those articles 
which they had signed and sent unto them." Then comes the explosion. 
The doubts that any such affair ever occured are strengthened by the 
absence of any reference to it in Mr Bruce's Ripon Papers. The sup- 
position that there had been a real invitation to the Scots connects 
itself with another matter. This Lord Mandeville is the same Lord 
Kimbolton who was impeached along with " the five members ;" and 
one of the articles of impeachment was, " That they have traitorously 


That the Scots acted on an invitation from England, 
whether genuine or spurious, is unnecessary to the 
conformity of events, and indeed rather tends to 
disturb than to complete their sequence. The policy 
of the Scots was, if they were attacked, to retaliate ; 
and the policy of their retaliation was to get possession 
of the great coal-fields which supplied the fires of 
London. There were many opportunities for exchang- 
ing sympathies and sentiments between statesmen of 
all classes in the two countries, and it is needless to 
inquire what they said to each other. 

The tendency to seek a solution of the coming 
events in a specific contract or treaty has grown from 
an imperfect perception of the natural bond of com- 
mon interests and dangers. The opponents of the 
prerogative, l^oth in England and in Scotland, far 
apart as they afterwards separated, stood at that time 
on the common ground that each professed to suffer 
from innovations on the established constitutional 
practice of their Government. The larger violation of 
the constitution fell to Scotland, because her institu- 

invited and engaged a foreign power to invade liis majesty's kingdom of 
England" (Pari. Hist., ii. 1005). Pym, in his celebrated defence, pointed 
this charge towards a later turn of events: " If to join with the Parlia- 
ment of England by free vote to crave brotherly assistance from Scotland 
— kingdoms both under obedience to one sovereign, both his loyal sub- 
ject.s — to suppress the rebellion in Ireland, which lies gasping everyday, 
in danger to be lost from his majesty's subjection, be to invite and 
encourage foreign power to invade this kingdom, then am I guilty of 
high treason." — Ibid., T014. The place where the correspondence itself 
is professed to be given for the first time is Oldmixon's History (i. 141). 
Here the Scots specifically ask their friends to help them " by their 
rising in one or sundry bodies among themselves, or by sending to us 
near the Borders some present supply of money, or clear evidence where 
we shall find it near hand." In the document professing to bean an.swer 
to this the request is refused, as to grant it might involve a charge of 


tions were the more antagonistic to the projects of the 
innovators. Thus the English constitutionalists had 
before them an example of what the prerogative was 
capable of attempting. It was a natural thought to 
cross their minds — to use the figurative language of 
Rehoboam — " AVe have been chastised with whips ; let 
us see how those who have been chastised with scor- 
pions will act." Those who looked at the innovations 
in Scotland rather in sorrow than in anger, saw at an 
early point the English sympathy, and were alarmed 
by the sight. It had gone on increasing ; and it could 
not be smothered by the old panic-cry about a Scots 
invasion, even when this was aggravated by an appeal 
to France for assistance. It was in the north, where 
the hatred of the Scots used to be the strongest, that 
the sympathy with them was becoming the greatest. 
" I am persuaded," said Osborne, the Vice-President 
of York, " if Hannibal were at our gates, some had 
rather open them than keep him out."^ 

It was easy to reassemble the army so recently dis- 
persed in Scotland. Leslie was again the commander, 
and in the middle of July he mustered at Dunglas a 
force of more than twenty thousand foot and two thou- 
sand five hundred horse. Again we are fortunate in the 
circumstantial Baillie having accompanied the host. 
Hard pressure had to be applied to raise money. The 
regular taxation took time, and twenty thousand merks 
were required daily ; and " from England there was no 
expectation. of moneys till we went and fetched them." 
Money was lent and given by the enthusiastic friends of 
the cause, and contributions of plate were taken to the 
mint. As it Avas desirable that their march through 

1 Notes on Treaty of Ripon, xxvi. 


England should be as inoflfensive as it could be ren- 
dered, a serviceable equipment of tents was required, 
so that they might neither quarter on the people nor do 
mischief by gathering materials for hutting. The linen 
stored up, according to national custom, by the thrifty 
housewives of Edinburgh, supplied this want. The 
eloquence of a popular preacher did much to open this 
resource ; for " RoUock had so sweetly spoken to the 
people's minds on the Sunday, that the women, after- 
noon and to-morrow, gave freely great store of that 
stuff — almost sufficient to cover all our army."^ 

The army was to abide some time on the Border, 
and then, if necessary, march into England. On the 
20th of AugTist they crossed the Tweed at Coldstream. 
Lots were drawn as to the order of march through the 
river, and chance gave the lead to Montrose's contin- 
gent. He made himself conspicuous by his zeal and 
alacrity in leading the way and carrying through his 
own people — it was in keeping with the ardour of his 
nature ; but some said that on this occasion the ex- 
hibition of ardour was but a mask to hide treachery. 
They passed southward in detachments, all to assemble 
on Newcastle Moor. When they reached this spot 
they found that the town of Newcastle was defended, 
and that a considerable English force, under Conway, 
was at hand on the south side of the Tyne. It was 
clear, then, they must fight for the mastery of New- 
castle and the district around, otherwise the English, 
having both sides of the river, would command North- 
umberland. Leslie determined on the strategy of 
turning the enemy's flank. The chief fortifications of 
the town were of course towards the north. Listead, 

' Baillie's Letters, i. 255. 


therefore, of besieging the place from that side — de- 
fended, as it would be, by a considerable force — he 
determined to cross the Tyne, and fight that force in 
the open field. It was a sound civil policy, if it could 
be made good as a military project, since it kept clear 
of the terrible process of forcing the city by storming. 
The point selected for the crossing was the ford of 
Newburn, about five miles above Newcastle. Conway, 
who had with him ten thousand foot and two thou- 
sand horse, was enabled to afi'ord a force, estimated 
variously at from four to six thousand men, to hold 
the ford. They raised earthworks and mounted several 
cannon. The bank on their side was a flat haugh. 
On the Scots side it was steep, so that the English 
force was overlooked and iu some measure commanded 
by the Scots. On the south side any attempt by the 
Scots to force a passage promised an affair in which 
artillery well placed and served would defy the power 
of numbers, for no artillery was seen in the Scots 
camp. Here, however, Leslie's German experience 
enabled him to effect a surprise. Under his direction 
there had been a manufacture in Edinburgh of tem- 
porary cannon. They seem to have been made of tin 
for the bore, with a coating of leather, all secured by 
tight cordage. A horse could carry two of them, and 
it was their merit to stand a few discharges before 
they came to pieces. Leslie had some of these masked 
among bushes on the river -bank, others he got up 
the tower of Newburn church. AYhen the Scots began 
to cross, and Conway's guns opened on them, to the 
amazement of the English they were answered by a 
stronger battery commanding them. The roar of 
artUlery from a force believed to be destitute of that 


arm is one of those terrible surprises which tax the 
nerves of highly-disciplined veterans, and here it befell 
raw recruits. They were at once broken up into con- 
fusion, and the Scots passed over. They found no 
enemy to resist them except a small body of high- 
sj)irited Cavalier gentlemen, finely mounted, and armed 
with breastplates. These fought hard ; but when the 
whole Scots army came over, the contest was so un- 
equal that they were forcibly taken prisoners. It was 
not the policy of the Scots to shed much blood, and 
they made no attempt to meddle with the bulk of the 
English force in its retreat. The loss on the English 
side, even, only extended to some forty or fifty — on 
the Scots to about a tenth of the number. Such Avas 
the battle by which the Scots army forced the passage 
of the Tyne — a trifle in the bloody annals of warfare, 
yet so momentous that in critical interest it may well 
rival the famous passage of the Rubicon. 

The scenery around the cjuiet village of Newburn is 
not naturally remarkable, but it has a signal interest 
in this, that few other battle-fields present on their 
surface so distinct an impression of the nature of 
the contest. The steep bank on the north side of the 
Tyne is still scrubby as it was when Leslie's light guns 
were masked by the bushes, and the short thick Nor- 
man tower of the villaoje church looks as if it had 
been made to carry wall - pieces. Standing here, we 
overlook the flat haugh where the English army was 
uselessly fortified, as the gallery overlooks the stage 
of a theatre ; and we sec at once how fatal was the 
mistake when the English general supposed that the 
Scots had no cannon. A general survey of the river 
from Leslie's jjosition shows, what inquiry will confirm, 


that Newburn is the nearest point to Newcastle where 
the Tyne conld be forded by troops. The river has 
many sweeping loops, and at any one of these, had 
the water been shallow enouoli, the Scots conld have 
passed nnmolested, through the well-recognised mili- 
tary advantage of having the inside of the curve. At 
Newburn the water is so shallow that in dry weather 
a child can take the ford, and we must conclude that 
it would not have been forced had any other part of 
the river been available. ^ 

^ The only account of tlie battle, so far as the author is aware, by a 
military man present in it, is the one given, by way of vindication of 
himself, by the defeated general. In saying that his soldiers were 
" unacquainted with the cannon," he must be held to mean that they 
were not aware of their existence till they opened fire : — 

"The Scots having made a battery and drawn down their army, our 
works were provided with men to defend them, and with others to 
second them. Six troops of horse were placed to charge the Scots 
where they came over, and six or seven more were placed to second 
them. When the Scots foi'ces were in readiness, and their cannon 
placed, our works were not jJroof against them ; the soldiers were un- 
acquainted with the cannon, and therefore did not endure many shot ; 
those that were to second them followed their example. 

"The horse charged the Scots, and drove them back into the river; 
but the cannon beating through, some of our troops that were sent to 
second went off when they saw the place forsaken. They should have 
gone on the left hand, that they might have gone off with the foot; but 
mistaking their direction, went on the right hand, which carried them 
up the hill, where they found some troops. Whilst they consulted what 
was best to be done, the Scots horse came up in two divisions, and with 
them ten thousand musketeers. The first charge was upon the regiment 
commanded by Lord Wilmot, who was there taken prisoner, his men 
forsaking him, and falling foul of some troops of the Lord Conway's 
regiment, disordered them ; the rest being charged, did as they saw 
others do before them. 

" The cause of the loss that day was the disadvantage of the ground, 
and the slight fortification, which the shortness of the time would not 
afford to be better. Neither would it admit us to make any works upon 
the hni where we stood opposite against the Scots. And when we came 
to sight, the soldiers did not their parts as they ought to have done, 
being the most of them the meanest sort of men about London, and 
unacquainted with service, and forgetting to do that which they had oft 


The way to Newcastle was now open — a detach- 
ment of the army had only to cross the bridge and 
enter the town. 

In the histories inspired by the great struggle of 
the day, the capture of Newcastle is one of those 
gentle quiet affairs that call for little further notice 
than the transference of Edinburgh and Dumbarton 
into new ruling hands. But to the community of 
that town it was an astounding and terrible event. 
If there were those in England who expected to meet 
the Scots as friends and allies, Newcastle was not the 
place where these were to be found. In their tradi- 
tions the Scots were men of blood and rapine. They 
were denounced in the civic ordinances as a race unfit 
to mingle with the civilised sons of trade and industry. 
There were men alive who in their youth could remem- 
ber the families of Northumbrian farmers fleeing for 
their lives within the protecting walls of Newcastle, 
and could recall, when the panic was over, how the 
citizens in fearful curiosity visited the ruined grange, 
to see its emptied byres and stables, and the bleeding 
bodies of its defenders. If in the days of the flat- 
bottomed boats the corporation had awakened to find 
themselves in the hands of a French army landed at 
the mouth of the Tyne, the surprise and consternation 
could not have been greater than on that summer day, 
a hundred and sixty years earlier, when the town and 
its great coal-field were seen in the possession of the 
Scots invaders. 

The colliers outside the town fled from their works. 

been commanded and taught." — The Lord Conway's Relation concerning 
the Passages in the late Northern Expedition, 1640 ; Hailes's Memorials 
and Letters, Charles L, 102, 10.3. 


The citizens — all but a few who instantly escaped — 
had to submit to the restraints of a garrison town, 
and to remain at home, or absent themselves on 
leave and under precautions against the removal 
of property. A citizen, recovered from the first 
panic, and seeing that there is order, at all events, 
if not safety, gets an opportunity to write to a friend 
by sea, and says, " I have taken the more freedom to 
enlarge myself, and acquaint you with the true state 
of our conditions." "It is true," he says, " they have 
invited, and by all means endeavoured, to di-aw us 
back to our dwellings in this town, where we live 
together quietly enough for appearance, being in this 
town not troubled with their common soldiers, who 
are kept in their quarters in the camp. Some com- 
manders and men of greater rank living with us in 
the town, we enjoy hitherto all our own goods and 
merchandise which we have in possession, the money 
excepted, which, while the terror of the armies lay 
upon us, and their intentions not known, they easily 
persuaded us to lend upon their own security, which 
I assure you was the greatest part of the ready money 
seen in the town, some having so much providence as 
to transport their estates away before." ^ Another 
says : " Many families gone, leaving their goods to 
the mercy of the Scots, who possessed themselves of 
such corn, cheese, beer, &c., as they found, giving the 
owners thereof, or some in their stead, some money 
in hand, and security in writing for the rest, to be 

^ Letter from an Alderman of Newcastle, 8tli September 1640 ; Re- 
prints of Rare Tracts and Imprints of Ancient Manuscripts, chiefly illus- 
trative of the History of the Northern Counties, and printed at the Press 
of M. A. Richardson : seven volumes — vol. i. 


paid at four or six montlis in money or corn ; and if 
they refuse, said the Scots, sucli is the necessity of the 
army, that they must take it without security rather 
than starve." ^ 

These petty details bear on the great difficulty of the 
army's position. It was strong enough to help itself, 
but that was not the policy of its leaders. However 
willing the Government of Scotland might be to bear 
a burden in the cause, the support of an army exceed- 
ing twenty thousand men on foreign soil was beyond 
their pecuniary ability. The problem was, how to be 
good neighbours with the English of the north, and 
yet be fed by them — in other words, how to buy from 
them, and pay them out of nothing. 

It ended, as on other like occasions, in the levying 
of contributions to be paid some time or other from 
some fund. We are told how " the mayor and alder- 
men of Newcastle pretends inability to pay their two 
hundred pound a-day. We were forced to put a guard 
about their town-house till we got new assurances from 
them. According to our declaration, we took nothing 
for nought, only we borrowed on good security so 
much money a - day as was necessary for our being, 
to be repaid long before our departure." - 

The burden, as we shall afterwards find, was removed 
from the district and spread over England. Mean- 
while the citizens of Newcastle had an opportunity 
of finding that there was some difference between this 
well-ordered army and the incursions of the Teviotdale 
and Eskdale marauders, which brought terror to the 
hearts of an earlier generation. As it was in the 
destiny of things that the Scots were soon afterwards 

' Newcastle Reprints, i. 8. ^ Baillie's Letters, i. 262. 


to revisit them, the character of their present dealings 
"with the community had doubtless its influence on 
their subsequent reception. King Charles on his way 
north had received the loyal applause of the corpora- 
tion, and they proved their sincerity by the contingent 
they supplied to his force.^ 

Public opinion was at that juncture changing rap- 
idly in England ; and many who looked to the Scots 
in 1640 as invading enemies, afterwards welcomed 
them at their later visit as friends and allies. The 
situation is thus described by Baillie : — 

" In the king's magazine were found good store of 
biscuit and cheese, and five thousand arms, musket, 
and pikes, and other provision. Messrs Henderson and 
Cant preached to a great confluence of people on the 
Sunday. My Lord Lothian, with his regiment, was 
placed to govern the town — our camp lay without. 
The report of this in all our pulpits did make our peo- 
ple sound humble and hearty thanks to the name of 
our God, in the confidence of Avhose help this work was 
begun, and on whose strength it does yet rely — not 
well knowing what to do next ; for many a time from 
the beginning we have been at a nonplus, but God 
helped us over."^ They seemed to be, indeed, carried 
forward on the wings of destiny. They took Durham, 
Tynemouth, and Shields without a struggle. News 
came to them that Dumbarton Castle had surrendered 
on the day when their army forced the passage at 
Newburn; and a few days later came the news that 

^ "The town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne furnislied 250 pikemen, 250 
musketeers, and 350 dragoons for the king's service," a larger force than 
all the rest of Northumberland supplied. — Letter from a Royalist of 
Newcastle, introduction ; Newcastle Reprints, iv. 

' Letters, i. 257. 



the garrison of Edinburgh Castle had been turned out 
in the manner we have seen. Though it was clear to 
the enthusiasts who gave impulse to the enterprise 
that God was fighting for them, yet there was prac- 
tical sense and moderation enough in that host to bid 
them rejoice with trembling. They immediately took 
to their old practice of supplicating, and never in 
their dangers and difficulties did they approach the 
throne with more submissive and deferential loyalty 
than in this hour of triumph. "We only implore," they 
say, " that we may, without farther opposition, come 
into your majesty's presence, for obtaining from your 
majesty's justice and goodness satisfaction to our just 
demands. We, your majesty's most humble and loyal 
subjects, do still insist in that submiss way of petition- 
ing which we have keeped since the beginning, and 
from which no provocation of your majesty's enemies 
and ours, no adversity that we have before sustained, 
nor prosperous success can befall us, shall be able to 
divert our minds ; most humbly entreating that your 
majesty would, in the depth of your royal wisdom, 
consider at last our pressing grievances and losses, 
and with the advice and consent of the Estates of the 
kingdom of England convened in Parliament, settle a 
firm and durable peace against all invasions by sea or 

Tn this last sentence there was a deep and formid- 
able meaning. It announced, and for the first time, 
that there was a common cause between the Scots in- 
vaders and the English Parliament, and referred to the 
two as two elements of force that must in the necessity 
of things coalesce. Without a key in the history of 
the times to this and other parts of the " supplication," 


the casual reader might take it for a timid appeal by 
some poor creatures who, on their peaceable and in- 
offensive passage to the quarter where they were 
to represent their griefs and sufferings, had been 
despitefully assailed by their enemies, and had been 
providentially enabled to get clear of these perils 
of the way, regretting at the same time that their 
assailants had brought on themselves some casualties. 
After all their sufferings, extreme necessity had con- 
strained them, for their relief, to come into England, 
where they were peaceably passing through the 
country, harming no one, and paying for what they 
needed, "till," they say, "we were pressed by strength 
of arms to put such forces out of the way as did, 
without our deserving, and — as some of them have 
at the point of death confessed — against their own 
consciences, oppose our peaceable passage at Newburn- 
on-Tyne, and have brought their blood upon their own 
heads against our purposes and desires." 

The king received this document at York. He was 
already in the midst of a sea of troubles when his 
defeated troops came scattering in upon him. The 
victors had let it be known that they were prepared 
to march on to York ; and as surely as they did, so 
would they again scatter the king's army before them. 
His answer to the appeal seemed to paxtake of the 
trouble and confusion of his spirit ; but it sufficed for 
the time, since its general import was, that before 
striking he would listen. It was signed by the Earl 
of Lanark, Hamilton's brother, as Secretary of State 
for Scotland.^ 

The Scots sent in a paper of seven demands, not so 

1 Rushwortli, iii. 1255, 1256. 


important in tlieir own substance as because they were 
a basis on which conference might be held. Perhaps 
the most significant of them was for protecting from 
the imposition of "new oaths" their compatriots in 
England and Ireland. The king intimated that the 
whole state of the case was to be laid before that great 
council of the peers which, following a practice which 
had grown obsolete, he had summoned at York. The 
great council recommended the holding of a treaty, to 
which the Scots should send representatives. The 
time fixed for it was the 1st of October, and the place 
Ripon, in Yorkshire. Eight commissioners represented 
Scotland : two nobles, Dunfermline and Loudon, al- 
ready well acquainted with the ground they were 
to go over ; two representatives of the smaller barons ; 
two clergymen, one of them Alexander Henderson, 
the great preacher. The Covenant was farther 
represented by the great Church lawyer Warriston, 
and the town-clerk of Dundee represented the burghal 
community. These gentlemen showed how suspi- 
cious the Scots had become, by requesting a safe- 
conduct, not only under the sign-manual, but under 
the signatures of the assembled peers ; but this being 
refused with something like a rebuke, they were con- 
tent to drop the request. 

The commissioners had ample opportunities of diving 
into the recesses of the c[uarrel in the mass of disputa- 
tive documents which had accumulated round it. In 
addition to those already noticed, a later and fruitful 
crop had appeared. They are of less moment and in- 
terest, however, to the student of the present day, than 
those which preceded warlike action. In these we see 
the gradual growth of the conditions which brought 


on the quarrel. The later controversy is in general 
but tiresome comment, in the shape of attack and 
defence, on the events passing before the world. The 
most important of these Avas a continuation of the 
king's Large Declaration, with the title, "His Majesty's 
Declaration concerning his Proceedings with his Sub- 
jects in Scotland since the Pacification in the Camp 
near Berwick." ^ It has the same sort of qualified 
success as the old Declaration. Grant that the king- 
was an absolute monarch, he shows that he yielded 
with wonderful facility to the desires of his trouble- 
some subjects, abandoning his own better judgment 
to yield to their unreasonable caprices. The Scots 
printed and circulated in England a paper called ' The 
Lawfulness of our Expedition into England manifested.' 
Whatever interest attached to this document has been 
recently enhanced by the discovery of a copy of it en- 
riched with Laud's marginal notes. As they are the 
abrupt comments set down as he read and grew angry 
in reading, they probably give us his and his master's 
political creed more broadly and emphatically than 
we can find them in the deliberative announcements 
contained in the king's Declarations and other State 
papers. The spirit of these notes cannot be better 
told than in the words of him who found and edited 
them : " Taking the notes in connection with the state- 
ments of the Scots, we have at one glance the views 
of both parties. Those of the archbishop were simple 
in the extreme. Politically he had but one complaint 
to make against the Scots. It was their ' duty' to have 
obeyed the king. They failed in this respect, and 
that failure brought on all the succeeding trouble. 

1 It will be found in Rushwortli, iii. 1018, and in other places. 


As applicable to the king's commands, no question of 
right or wrong, of reason or unreason, of legality or 
the contrary, seems in the slightest degree to have 
disturbed the equanimity of the archbishop. In his 
estimation the whole case turned upon one single con- 
sideration. The premises were unquestionable, and 
the conclusion irresistible. The Scots had not yielded 
'the dutiful obedience of subjects;' they could not, 
therefore, be otherwise than to blame, and not less so 
in the sight of God than in that of their sovereign 
and of the archbishop." ^ 

The commissioners of both kingdoms assembled 

' Bruce, preface to Notes of the Treaty carried on at Eipon, xl. The 
following specimens may be selected from the Scots manifesto and 
Laud's criticisms on it ; — 

The Manifesto. Laud's Notes. 

" As all men know and confess what is the great " Noue of these ne- 
f orce of necessity, and how it doth j ustify actions cessary, if thej- would 
otherwise unwarrantable, so can it not be denied ''*^''' yielded due obe- 
that -we must either seek our peace in England at '1"^"'^« t° "'«"' kmg." 
this time, or lie under three heavy burthens which 
we are not able to bear. First, we must maintain 
armies on the Borders," &c. 

"This we say not from fear, but from feeling; "No growth iieces- 
for we have already felt, to our unspeakable preju- sary when they might 
dice, -what it is to maintain armies, what to want '\^^^. Prevented the be 
traiBc, what to want administration of justice : 
and if the beginning of these evils be so heavy, 
what shall the growth and loug continuance of 
them prove unto us ? — so miserable a being all men 
would judge to be worse than no being." 

" If we consider the nature and quality of this " if this were true, 
expedition, it is defensive, and so the more justi- 'tis not defensive." 
liable. The king's majesty, misled by the craft and 
cruel faction of our adversaries, began this year's 
war — not we." 

" We have laboured in long-suifering, by suppli- " Save yielding the 
cations, informations, commissions, and all other dutiful obedience of 
means possible, to avoid this expedition." subjects." 

When they talk of "invasions by sea which liave spoiled us of our 

ginning by doing but 
their duty." 

TREATY OF RIPON, 164O. 1 19 

accordingly at Ripon, on the 1st of October 1640, and 
began business next day. There were, as there always 
are in such conferences, minor details of business to 
be adjusted at the beginning. The king, for instance, 
desired that some persons in his own interest should 
attend as " assistants ; " for the English commissioners 
did not properly represent the Crown, but were ac- 
credited by the great council of the peers. The Scots 
seemed not to concern themselves with the English 
assistants ; but they were jealous of the presence of 
Traquair, Morton, and Lanark in that capacity. They 
were told that these attended not to vote or take part 
in the conference, but, as persons versant in the busi- 
ness of Scotland, to explain matters relating to that 
country which might be unintelligible to Englishmen ; 
and some preliminary diplomacy was necessary to 
keep these assistants within such limits. 

On the general question the Scots felt the ground 
consolidating, as it were, beneath their feet day by day. 
In every dij)lomatic conference there are truths be- 
hind any that appear on the smooth and tranquil face 
of the discussions ; and the great truth behind the 
treaty of Ripon was, that the Scots were absolute 
masters of the situation. Did they come as enemies ? 
Then they were invaders who had conquered the 
north of England, and redeemed for their country that 
ancient district of Northumberland which the voice of 
tradition assigned as an ancient possession of the Scot- 
ships and goods," the comnientator says, with angry astonishment, " The 
king invade his owti ! " 

At one point he gets so angry as to employ a scurvy jest frequently 
used hy the common people of England against the Scots of that day. 
Where they say that for the provisions of their army they either paid or 
gave security, he notes, " Not worth three of their lice." 


tish Crown ; and in the existing condition of England 
there was no rational prospect that the conquest Avould 
be taken out of their hands. This great calamity had 
a Government, by its feebleness or its folly, or by 
something worse than either, brought upon England ; 
and all who befriended the Government and valued the 
honour of England must avert such a stigma at any 
sacrifice.-' Did the Scots come as friends ? Then to 
the Government they were friends by mere forced 
courtesy. Their real friendship was for that great 
Parliamentary party which Avas about to rise against 
the Government. They were conscious of the thorough 
amity of that party. The great voice of England was 
(•ailing for a Parliament, and the Scots put in their 
word too for a Parliament ; in fact, before the commis- 
sioners left Ripon the writs had been issued for " the 
Long Parliament," and it was the Scots who had pro- 
cm^ed this for their English friends. 

In whatever sense the word was to be taken, they 
were called and were dealt with as friends. Well, if 
friends, they were friends who had done eminent 
service to England at much sacrifice to themselves. It 
was but fair that their friendship should be requited 
—that their sacrifices in the cause of their English 
friends should at all events be refunded. In short, 
the army had been embodied and marched across the 

' Among some notes of what was said in tlie council at York — notes 
intended apparently to refresh the memory of the notemaker — there are 
some glimpses of meaning intelligible to others, and among these nearly 
the most distinct is a passionate burst by Stratford. It wiU be under- 
stood that "this army" means the English, " the other " the Scotch: 
'• If this army dissolve and disband, the other army being, as it is, in 
such a posture, this country is lost in two days, and the fire will at last 
go to the farthest house in the street. No history can mention so great 
an infamy as the deserting this." — Hardwicke's State Papers, ii. 211. 

TREATY OF RIPON, 1640. 121 

Border in the service of England, therefore the expense 
incurred and yet to be incurred in that service must 
be paid by England. If not, the Scots could easily 
help themselves. They hinted that they would be 
content with the estates of the Papists and of the 
bishops, who were their natural enemies, and they 
began by taking possession of the princely domains of 
the see of Durham. Some abrupt notes of private 
conferences held among each other by the English 
lords might be likened to the hurried and nervous 
estimate of resources for the purchase of life and 
liberty by captives in the hands of banditti ; or perhaps 
a more appropriate analogy would be the discussions 
by the authorities of a beleaguered town on the best 
method of raising ransom-money.'^ 

' For instance, the following, in whicli it is to be understood that the 
reporter only sets down one or two leading words by way of memo- 
randum of the purport of what each said : — 

" The lords retire. 

E. Bristoll. — They say if they cannot live in one place they will live 
in another. 

They will come with an army able to obtain their demands. 

Not fall into particulars of lessening their army, but, by way of in- 
ducement, to offer them ^20,000 a-month. 

E. Burks [Earl of Berkshire]. — To speak with Mr Treasurer, who 
knows the country, whether they are able. 

3fr Treasurer. — Those four counties and Newcastle not able to pay 
that sum. No trade, but only for a month about ^12,000 to be raised. 

They propose they will presently have money without victuals, 
which they cannot do. 

They speak of recruiting — to bind them from recruiting, and to have 
a cessation of arms. 

Let nothing be known to them of anything out of the counties. 

E. Holland. — He supposes it is a proposition that the counties here- 
about will find. 

E. Burks. — Whether offer it without consulting with Yorkshire. 

E. Holland. — It must be had, and therefore fit to be offered. 

Lord Saville. — They will retire, and if they say they cannot accept 
it, whether they will offer more. 


There was much haggling about the actual amount 
of money to be paid. It is not necessary that we 
should impute all the discussions to the mere merce- 
nary spirit of parting with and pocketing so much 
coin. The Scots had further objects than taking a 
bribe to return home, and the furtherance of these 
objects was intimately connected not only with the 
amount to be paid to them, but the form and con- 
ditions of its payment. They asked £40,000 a- 
month, but this was refused. They then reduced 
their demand to £30,000 — finally the allowance was 

If you offer it, it must be found, and in conclusion it goes upon all 
the kingdom. 

If they say they cannot accept it, we to propose unto them our 
reasons — that we are their friends, never did them ivr-ong. 

To send to Newcastle to know whether they will receive this with 
some of the county. 

In the mean time to treat of the other heads, and us to treat with the 
gentlemen of the counties. 

Lord Saville. — Not to let the Scots know, of our treaty with the 

Lord Wharton. — Let it be proposed to be only out of the counties in 

£. Holland. — To consider, if they refuse the sum, to think what to 
do, considering the great danger of the kingdom ; but to give them no 
resolution this morning, but take into resolution to answer in the after- 
noon." — Bruce's Notes of the Treaty of Eipon, 33-35. 

Again, on 24th October, as the meetings draw to a close : — 

" The lords commissioners retire. 

The gentlemen of Cumberland and Westmoreland are already pre- 
pared to come into contribution. 

A letter written to those counties, and this to be shown unto the 
Soots commissioners. 

They have already called the gentlemen of these shires — Sir Patricius 
Curwen, Sir George Dawson, and Sir Philip Musgrave — and are now 
writing a letter which my Lord Wharton read. 

E. Bristoll. — To add to this, they will procure the strength of the 
great council of York. 

They will engage themselves to endeavour all means at London with 
the Parliament to see it pierformed." — Ibid., 65. 


fixed at £850 a-clay. It was secured on obliga- 
tions from corporations and landowners cliiefly in the 
northern counties ; but it was the hope of those who 
became thus liable, that Parliament would relieve 
them ; and the prospect of the whole question coming 
into the hands of the new Parliament, to which the 
English nation looked with so much hope, was also a 
prospect full of stirring hope to the Scots. 

Early in the sittings there was a singular incident. 
On the 8th of October the king desired that the treaty 
should be transferred to York. The reasons given 
were merely the " unhealthfulness " of the town of 
Eipon, and for " expediting " the treaty. The Scots 
suspected that there were other reasons. The king's 
army was at York, with Strafford at its head. They 
said : We cannot " conceave " or foresee " Avhat danger 
may be apprehended in our going to York, and suffer- 
ing ourselves and others who may be joined with us 
into the hands of an army commanded by the Lieu- 
tenant of Ireland, against whom, as a chief incendiary, 
according to our demands, which are the subject of the 
treaty itself, we intend to insist, as is expressed in our 
remonstrance and declarator ; who hath in the Parlia- 
ment of Ireland proceeded against us as traitors and 
rebels — the best titles his lordship in his common talk 
is pleased to honour us with, whose commission is to 
subdue and destroy us, and who by all means and at 
all occasions presseth the breaking up of all treaties of 
peace, as fearing to be excluded in the end." ^ 

When the matters of the pay of the army and the 
pacification were adjusted, another adjournment was 
proposed : it was to London, whither the English 

' Bruce's Notes, 26. 


lords had to go to attend the new Parliament. No 
proposal could have been more apt to the views and 
fortunes of the Scots, and it was gladly accepted. 

By this adjournment the destinies of tlie Scots na- 
tion were virtually thrown into the great game which 
was to be played over the whole empire. For some 
years, although a few incidents of the contest were 
peculiar to Scotland, the history of its policy and aims 
has to be looked on from the centre of a greater area, 
comprehending the three kingdoms, as they were for 
some time, and the Commonwealth, as the whole after- 
wards became. The duties of the historian of Scot- 
land proper are thus in some measure for a time 
superseded, and fall on those who undertake the his- 
tory of the great civil war. 

Cijarles E. 















The Scots commissioners were one of the chief cen- 
tres round which gathered the mighty excitement with 
which London was then seething. AVhen they had 
severally taken up their abodes, mostly in the neigh- 
bourhood of Covent Garden, the city of London de- 
sired the honour of receiving them as guests. A 
house was assigned to them so close to the Church of 
St Anthony, or St Antholin, as it is popularly termed, 
that there was a passage communicating between the 


church and the house. Henderson, Blair, and Baillie 
gave their ministrations in that church with zeal and 
patience, and were repaid by popular admiration, as 
Clarendon says : " To hear those sermons there was 
so great a conflux and resort — by the citizens out of 
humour and faction, by others of all qualities out 
of curiosity, and by some that they might the better 
justify the contempt they had of them — that from the 
first appearance of day in the morning on every Sun- 
day to the shutting in of the light the church was 
never empty. They, especially the women, who had 
the happiness to get into the church in the morning 
(they who could not hang upon or about the windows 
without to be auditors or spectators) keeping their 
places till the afternoon's exercise was finished." ^ 

Coming as the assured allies of the Long Parliament, 
they were at once to witness the downfall of their great- 
est enemies. The blow fell first on Strafford. He " came 
but on Monday to town late ; on Tuesday rested ; on 
Wednesday came to Parliament, but ere night he was 
caged. Intolerable pride and opjDression cries to 
heaven for a vengeance. The Lower House closed 
their doors ; the Speaker keeped the keys till his 
accusation was completed." The Ayrshire minister, 
whose fortune it was to see so much of history, tells 
how Strafford came forth_ into custody through the 
crowd " all gazing, no man capping to him, before 
whom that morning the greatest of England would 
have stood dis-covered." ^ The temptation is strong to 
follow the same pen in picturesque description of the 
impeachment ; but it is a passage that belongs to a 
wider history, and must be forborne. 

' History, i. 190 ; ed. 1843, p. 76. " Baillie's Letters, i. 272. 


Some of the offences charged against Strafford were 
founded on the relations of England with Scotland ; 
but it would seem that these were inserted rather to 
interest and propitiate the Scots commissioners than 
really to give weight to the impeachment. They are 
slight and rather incoherent, balancing ill with the 
desperate designs of tyranny and ambition, at the root 
of the other charges. He had called the Scots " rebels" 
and "traitors." He said .their demands justified war. 
He was ready to lead an Irish force against them. 
Then, what seems scarcely in the same tenor, as 
lieutenant-general in the north, he " did not provide 
for the defence of the town of Newcastle as he ought 
to have done, but suffered the same to be lost, that so he 
might the more incense the English against the Scots;" 
and then, in another turn of inconsistency, it was said 
he forced his subordinate Conway to fight the Scots at 
Newburn with a force insufiicient for resistance, " out 
of a malicious desire to engage the kingdoms of Eng- 
land and Scotland in a national and bloody war." 
The managers showed their sense of the weakness of 
the Scots items in the charge by combining them in 
the prosecution with some of the heavier articles, an 
arrangement against which the accused protested.^ 

It was encouraging and exciting, no doubt, to see 
one whose spirit was so inimical to theirs, and who 
would have crushed them if he could, hunted down 
before their eyes ; but Laud was the proper vic- 
tim to offer up to the Scots commissioners. Baillie 
speedily found " Episcopacy itself beginning to be 
cried down and a covenant to be cried up, and the 
Liturgy to be scorned. The town of London and a 

' state Trials, iii. 1,397-1400, 1440-42. 


world of men minds to present a petition, which I have 
seen, for the abolition of bishops, deans, and all their 
appm^tenances. It is thought good to delay it till the 
Parliament have pulled down Canterbury and some 
prime bishops, which they mind to do so soon as the 
king has a little digested the bitterness of his lieuten- 
ant's censure. Huge things are here in working — the 
mighty hand of God be about this great work ! We 
hope this shall be the joyful harvest of the tears that 
these many years have been sown in these kingdoms. 
All here are weary of bishops. This day a committee 
of ten noblemen and three of the most innocent 
bishops — Carlisle, Salisbury, Winchester — are ap- 
pointed to cognosce by what means our pacification 
was broken, and who advised the king, when he had 
no money, to enter in war without consent of his 
State. We hope all shall go avcU above our hopes. 
I hope they will not neglect me. Prayer is our best 
help ; for albeit all things goes on here above our 
expectation, yet how soon, if God would but wink, 
might the devil and his manifold instruments here 
watching turn our hopes in fear ! " ^ 

But in the midst of these separate triumphs the 
commissioners did not neglect their treaty, and the 
large pecuniary interests depending on it. It was 
contested on both sides with a harassing obstinacy, 
which it would be tedious to follow step by step. It 
came to a conclusion on the 7th of August 1641. The 
principal provisions of the treaty were, that the king 
was to admit as Acts of Parliament those of the Estates 
who sat in 1640 Avithout the sanction of royalty. 
The "incendiaries," or "those Avho had been the 

' Letters, i. 274. 


authors and causes of the late and present combus- 
tions and troubles," were in each nation to be punished 
by Parliament — a demand accepted by the king, with 
the explanation that "his majesty believeth he hath 
none such about him." All libels against the king's 
"loyal and dutiful subjects of Scotland" were to be 
suppressed. When the Scots army came to be dis- 
banded, the fortresses of Berwick and Carlisle were to 
be reduced to their old condition. Not least import- 
ant was " the brotherly assistance " to be given by 
England to the Scots for their sufferings and services ; 
this was fixed at £300,000.^ The armies were then 
disbanded ; and when this process was completed, the 
city of London held solemn rejoicings for deliverance 
from the war that had impended. 

There comes now one of those incoherent turns in 
the tenor of the Court policy which make it so unsa- 
tisfactory a task to endeavour to find in it a natural 
unity of sequence, one political condition preceding 
another, as external cause precedes external event. 
The king, when the harassing business of the Long 
Parliament had thickened round him, was to visit 
Scotland and hold a Parliament there. He was 
not to go as the offended monarch, to take stern ac- 
count of those whom he had been charging as trait- 
orous and disobedient subjects; but in a spirit of 
geniality and loving-kindness, especially towards those 
who had most grievously offended him. 

Some secondary passages in the struggle had occur- 
red within Scotland, even at the time when its larger 
results were looked to in the question which the Scots 

1 See Report of the Treaty brought up to the Scots Estates ; Act. Pari., 
V. 337 et seq. 



were to try in England. The strength of the ruhng 
party was materially reduced by the removal of a large 
army into England. It was naturally in the north- 
east that symptoms of restlessness first appeared ; and 
there the Committee of Estates, with prompt energy, 
determined to use what force they could command, to 
aid the Earl Marischal, and other supporters of the 
Covenant, who were by themselves in a minority. In 
May 1640 a body of about a thousand men marched 
into Aberdeen under the command of General Monro. 
He, like Leslie, had been trained in the great European 
war ; but he was a man of inferior grade and nature, 
and brought with him a touch of the rapacity and 
cruelty that had grown up in the thirty years' teach- 
ing. He weeded the district of able-bodied Malignants 
by impressing them and sending them to join the 
army in England. In a similar policy he removed all 
things that might be turned to warlike purpose — not 
only arms, but tools adapted to sapping and mining. 
The garrulous town -clerk renders with deplorable 
minuteness the various items of exaction to which 
his unfortunate city was again subjected.^ Monro 
left behind him, as a memorial of his visit, one of 
those " woden mares " which had been invented by 

^ The Baxters and brewsters to have in readiness "12,000 weight of 
good bisket-bread, together with 1000 gallons of ale and beer." The 
commander desired that the citizens, " in testimony of their hon accord 
with the Soldatista that has come so far a march for their safeties from 
the invasion of foreign enemies, and the slavery they or their posterity 
may be lirought under, they may be pleased, out of their generosity ac- 
customed, and present thankfulness to the Soldatista for keeping good 
order and eschewing of plundering, to provide for them 1200 pair of 
shoes, together with 3000 ells of harden ticking or sail canvas, for making 
of tents to save the Soldatista from great inundation of rains accustomed 
to fall out nnder this northern climate." — Spalding's Memorials, i. 275 . 

CONTESTS IN THE NORTH, 1640-41. 131 

the ingenuity of the German marauders as an in- 
strument of torture at once simple and effective. 

Monro having paid visits of the same character to 
the country districts afflicted with Malignancy, re- 
moved his force. A very small body stationed in per- 
manence, with casual visits from auxiliaries, might now 
keep the troublesome district of the north-east in due 
order; but the soldiers themselves were sufferers by the 
general poverty they had created.^ If the army sent 
to England was honourably distinguished for piety 
and decorum, the Government had now come down to 
the dregs of their available forces. Of the perform- 
ances of the Covenanting troops occasionally posted in 
Aberdeen, we hear from the town-clerk of " daily de- 
boshing " and " drinking," " night-walking, combating, 
swearing, and bringing sundry honest women-servants 
to great misery." It was the hard fate of these unfor- 
tunates, that after they had become the victims of the 
profligacy of the Covenanting soldiery, they came under 
the rigid discipline of the Covenanting clergy for the 
expiation of their frailties.^ 

In other parts of the country the Malignants were 

^ So the Lord Sinclair, coming with a party of five hundred, " his 
allowances was spent, and the soldiers put to their shifts. Aberdeen 
would grant them no quarters, since the Colonel Master of Forbes's 
regiment was already quartered there. Whereupon ilk soldier began 
to deal and do for himself. Some came over to the old town, where they 
got nothing but hunger and cauld. Others spread through the country 
here and there about the town, specially to Papists' lands, plundering 
their food, botli horse-meat and man's meat, where they could get it." — 
Ibid., p. 352. 

^ " Sixty-five of this honest sisterhood were delated before the Church 
courts ; twelve of them, after being paraded through the streets by the 
hangman, were banished from the burgh. Several were imprisoned in a 
loathsome vault, while others more fortunate found safety in flight." — 
Book of Bon Accord, 68. 


cliastised by a rod of a different kind. The prospect 
I if an invasion by an army of the wild Irish, sent Ijy 
Strafford, gave occasion for guarding the west coast. 
It fell to the two chief potentates of the district, 
Eglinton and Argyle, to command the troops embodied 
for that purpose, who were chiefly, if not entirely, 
their own vassals or followers. Of Eglinton, Avho kept 
a force ready in the Ayrshire Lowlands, we hear no- 
thing ; but Argyle, having a force so conveniently 
in hand for which there was no immediate work, took 
the occasion to harry the territories of his feudal and 
political enemies. 

The warrant on which he acted was that savage 
writ so aptly named " a commission of fire and sword." 
It was issued by the Committee of Estates. It set 
forth how " the Earl of Athole and the Lord Ogilvie, 
with their accomplices" — the Farquharsons on the 
Braes of Mar, and the inhabitants of Badenoch, Loch- 
aber, and Eannoch — had " not only proven enemies to 
religion, but also had proven unnatural to their coun- 
try." Therefore it was meet that Argyle should 
" pursue them, and every one of them, in all hostile 
manner by fire and sword, aye and until he should 
either bring them to their bounden duty, and give 
assurance of the same by pledges or otherwise, or else 
to the utter subduing and rooting them out of the 
country." To this end he raised four thousand men.^ 
He swept the mountain district lying between his own 
territories and the east coast, and came down upon the 
half-Highland districts of the Braes of Angus, where 
he attacked the Ogilvies in their strongholds. It 
appears to have been in this expedition that the Castle 

' Act of Ratification and Exoneration in favours of the Earl of 
Argyle ; Act. Pari., v. 398. 

CONTESTS IN THE NORTH, 1640-41. 133 

of Airlie was burned — an incident giving rise to one of 
the most stirring of the Scottish ballads of the heroic 
type. We have little knowledge of the actual events 
of this raid, except from the two northern annalists, 
who were no friends of Argyle and his cause.^ 

In all such affairs there Avas limitless plunder, de- 
struction, and bloodshed. The northern authorities, 
however, are surely to be doubted when they say that 
subordinates desired to spare, but the leader was 
obdurate.^ Whatever of the destructive might be 
found in the leaders of such Highland hosts, mercy 
and moderation were not among the qualities of the 
followers. However it came, there must have been 
things done on this expedition for which Argyle did not 
feel quite at ease, since he sought an indemnity from 
that Parliament in which his influence was supreme. 
Had his castigation been limited to the Highlanders, 
he need have felt no misgiving. " Some Highland 
limmers — broken out of Lochaber, Clangregor, out of 
Athole, Brae of Mar, and divers other places" — had 

^ Gordon's Soots Affairs, iii. 165 ; Spalding's Memorials, i. 291. 

^ The following passage deserves attention, as attesting the hitterness 
of spirit in the age when one whom many adored as a saint and martyr 
could be so spoken of. Argyle had sent one of his followers called 
Sergeant Camphell to attack Craigie, the house of Lord John Ogilvie. 
The sergeant returned, saying there was a sick woman in tlie house, and 
it was not a place of strength, " and therefore he conceived it fell not 
within his order to cast it down. Argyle fell in some chaffe with the 
sergeant, telling him that it was his part to have obeyed his orders ; and 
instantly commanded him back again, and cansed him deface and sijoil 
the house. At the sergeant's parting with him, Argyle was remarked 
by such as were near for to have turned away from Sergeant Campbell 
with some disdain, repeating the Latin political maxim, Abscindantur 
qui nos perturhant — a maxim which many thought that he practised 
accurately, which he did upon the account of the proverb consequential 
thereunto, and which is the reason of the former, which Argyle was re- 
marked to have likewise often in his mouth as a choice aphorism, and 
well observed by statesmen, Quod mortui non mordent." — Gordon's 
Scots Affairs, iii. 166. 


just been at their old work, reiving the lands of loyal 
friends of the Covenant ; and whoever could extirpate 
them was welcome to the task, and deserved thanks.^ 
But the Lowland Ogilvies were within the pale of the 
law, such as it was. Some of the Acts, from the con- 
sequences of which the indemnity protects him, are 
broad and strong enough to cover much mischief, thus 
— for attacking towers, fortalices, and other houses, 
" or demolishing of the same to the ground, or burn- 
ing of the same, or putting of fii'e thereintil, or other- 
wise sacking and destroying of the same howsoever, 
or for putting of whatsoever person or persons to 
torture or question, or putting of any person or persons 
to death, at any time the said eighteenth day of June 
and the said second day of August thereafter ; and 
declares these presents to be ane sufficient warrant to 
all and whatsoever judges, civil or criminal, for ex- 
onering and assoyling the said Earl of Argyle and all 
and whatsomever his colonels, captains, commanders, 
and whole body of the army, and to their servants, 
men, boys, and followers in the said army during the 
space foresaid." ^ 

These affairs were over before the king's arrival. 
He had left behind him gloom, discord, and apprehen- 
sion. In the vast incongruous city, from the leaders 
of the Government down to the London 'prentices, 
every face was hostile. He left there the dead body 
of that stern, faithful minister of his will, who for 
that very stern fidelity was put to death. Was he to 
find a bright contrast to all this in Scotland ? On the 
surface it was so. Thorough tranquillity seemed to 

' Spalding's Memorials, i. 291. 

'•^ Acts of Pari, (revised edition), v. 399. The document is long and 
elaborately technical. 

PARLIAMENT, 1641. 135 

reign. The chance of war with England had passed 
— the intestine broils were at an end for the time. 
In the almost poetic Avords of the Estates, there 
was " a quiet, calm, and comfortable peace " over 
the land.^ 

Queen Henrietta told that she had good news from 
her husband at last. He " writes me word he has been 
very well received in Scotland; and that both the 
army and the people have showed a great joy to see 
the king — and such that they say was never seen be- 
fore : pray God it may continue." ^ 

He was to meet the Estates, not in the old sordid 
building where he had left them nine years ago, but 
in the great new hall worthy to receive the assembled 
powers of a great nation. There was to be none of 
the frowning by the king, and muttered grumbling of 
the Estates, which had announced the coming storm in 
that last Parliament. All swept onwards with a cur- 
rent as of unanimity and harmony. But in reality 
these bright aspects were due to the utter isolation 
and helplessness of the poor king. The Estates car- 
ried all before them with a force so irresistible that,- 
while driven before them, he appeared to lead them. 
There was throughout all their transactions an ex- 
uberant expression of loyalty and worship. Every 
one of those statutes which he would have resisted 
had there been any hope in resistance, began with 
the words " our sovereign lord," the part performed 
by the Estates modestly following as subordinate and 
supplementary. Things done which it must have 
cost him unutterable bitterness to witness in his 
helplessness, are what " his majesty was graciously 

1 Acts of Pari., v. 341. 

^ The queen to Sir Edward Nicholas ; Evelyn's Memoirs, v. 4, 


pleased" to do upon the "humble remonstrance" or 
" humble supplication " of the Estates. 

The farce of co-operation and harmonious action 
was played throughout by all the actors with great 
success. The king, in his speech from the throne, 
expressed his regret for the unlucky differences, now 
happily at an end, by which the land had been dis- 
tracted. " The end," he said, " of my coming is 
shortly this — to perfect whatsoever I have promised, 
and withal to quiet those distractions which have 
and may fall out amongst you : and this I mind not 
superficially, but fully and cheerfully to do ; for I 
assure you that I can do nothing with more cheerful- 
ness than to give my people content and general 
satisfaction." Biu^leigh, the president, in name of the 
House, " made a pretty speech to his majesty of thanks 
for all the former demonstrations of his goodness ; " and 
Argyle followed with "a short and pithy harangue, 
comparing this kingdom to a ship tossed in a tempest- 
uous sea these years bypast ; and seeing his majesty 
had, like a skilful pilot, in the times of most danger, 
stirred her through so many rocks and shoals to safe 
anchor, he did humbly entreat his majesty that now 
he would not leave her — since that for her safety 
he had given way to cast off some of the naughtiest 
baggage to lighten her — but be graciously pleased to 
settle her in her secure station and harbour again. "-^ 

In the British empire of the present day, when there 
comes a telling majority in the House of Commons 
against ministers, there is an inversion of the political 
conditions. There was now a like phenomenon in 
Scotland, but of a more convulsive character. The 

' Balfour's Annals, iii. 42. 

PARLIAMENT, 1641. 137 

men who were to come into power had not merely 
voted against his majesty's advisers, but had been at 
war with his army. Leslie was created Earl of Leven, 
and largely endowed. The Earl of Argyle became 
Marquess. Loudon, recently released from the Tower, 
was made Chancellor. The Court of Session was 
recast, to admit friends of the Covenant, with John- 
ston of Warriston among them ; and generally the 
men intrusted with any fragment of political power 
were selected from those who were counted safe men 
by the party which had now been for three years 
supreme in Scotland. 

Bacon, who admired " the excellent brevity " of the 
old Scots Acts, did not live to see the work of this Par- 
liament. Even the prolific legislation of our present 
sessions, which cause so much ridicule and grumbling, 
is not only anticipated but exceeded, if we take the 
number of Acts passed, and the variety of matters 
disposed of by them. The session began on the 
1 3th of May and ended on the 7th of November ; 
but even had it lasted a whole year, there might 
have been a good account for every day, since the 
last Act is the three hundred and sixty-fifth in num- 
ber. It must not be supposed that each one of these 
was a piece of legislation like a modern Act of Parlia- 
ment. There were among them inquiries into criminal 
charges or rumours, adjustments of title or precedence, 
of privileges, of social usages, and the like. It wo\ild be 
difficult, indeed, to name any class of public business 
not to be found in the records of that Parliament. It 
seemed, indeed, as if the Estates were jealous or afraid 
of any institution of the State acting separately and 
in its own place. The business was done, no doubt. 


by tlie officers of the Crown ; but it had to be doue in 
the presence of tlie States, and to be completed by 
their vote. 

In England much of this work would be called a 
direct usurpation of the prerogative of the Crown 
and the functions of the established courts of justice. 
In Scotland it could not be so simply and distinctly 
characterised. The Scots Estates had always claimed 
the right of supremacy, not only in legislation, but in 
the judicial and executive departments. When, in a 
country with a mixed government, the jJublic business 
enlarges with increased wealth and civilisation, the 
additions made to such business will fall into the 
hands of that element in the government which is 
the strongest. Many of the powers appropriated by 
this Parliament had been exercised by the Crown at 
least since the Union of 1603 ; but it is not so clear 
that they were the exclusive possession of the Crown 
in earlier days. The Crown, tampering with the selec- 
tion and powers of committees, had made the Lords 
of the Articles supreme, and had almost achieved the 
appointment of them. All the business of the Estates 
was transacted by them ; and it was coming to the 
point, that when they were appointed, the Estates at 
large had nothing further to do but to meet once, and 
either pass or reject the measures brought to maturity 
by the Lords of the Articles. The Estates at their pre- 
vious session took the opportunity of recasting the con- 
stitution of this powerful committee. Each Estate was 
to choose its own representative on the Articles, and the 
^\4lole body were only to do such work as was assigned 
to them by the Estates at large.^ The profuse busi- 

1 Acts of Pari., v. 278. 

PARLIAMENT, 1641. 139 

ness transacted in the Parliament of 1641 seems to 
have been worked through open committees — that is 
to say, certain groups of memloers were named as 
responsible for bringing the business to maturity ; but 
any other members might attend their meetings, either 
to keep a watch on what they did or to offer sugges- 
tions. There was a committee to "revise all articles" 
presented during the session, but merely that those 
chosen from each Estate "may give account thereof 
to their own body." ^ An Act of " pacification and 
oblivion " was passed, declaring, in a style not usual 
in Acts of Parliament, that " such things as have fallen 
forth in these tumultuous times, while laws were 
silent, whether prejudicial to his majesty's honour and 
authority, or to the laws and liberties of the Church 
and kingdom, or the particular interest of the subject, 
which to examine in a strict court of justice might 
prove ane hindrance to a perfect peace, might be 
buried in perpetual oblivion."^ Criminals and "broken 
men " in the Highlands Avere, as usual, excepted from 
the indemnity; and it was provided that its benefit 
"shall no ways be extended to any of the Scottish 
prelates, or to John Earl of Traquair, Sir Robert 
Spottiswood, Sir John Hay, and Master Walter Bal- 
canquall, cited and pursued as incendiaries betwixt 
the kingdoms and betwixt the king and his people. " •' 
It may be remembered that Balcanquall's crime was 
the literary assistance rendered by him to the king in 
the composition of his Declaration. These four, along 
with Maxwell, Bishoj) of Eoss, were then undergoing 
harassing treatment as "incendiaries." 

One of the points which the Estates had determined 

1 Acts of Pari., v. 333, 334. = Ibid., 341. ^ Ibid., 342. 


to carry was the appointment by themselves of all 
public officers. The Secret Council and the Court 
of Session were recast, the appointments being made 
in two separate Acts.^ In a general Act applicable 
to Government offices at large, the king's power of 
appointment is treated with all reverence ; but at the 
same time it is to be exercised in each instance " with 
the advice and approbation" of the Estates.^ One 
can see under the decorous surface of the Parlia- 
mentary proceedings, especially with the aid of a diary 
of the sittings kept by the Lord Lyon, that these 
concessions were extracted from the king by sheer force 
attended by many a bitter pang. He had struggled 
for the retention of the Crown patronage when its 
removal was first suggested at the treaty of Eipon; 
and the words in which he gave his reasons for ac- 
quiescence, when the demand was put for the last time, 
and was not to be resisted, are a sorry attempt to 
express contentment and approval : " His majesty's 
answer was, that since by their answer to his doubts 
proposed on Monday, they manifestly show to every 
one — as well believed by him — that to their knowledge 
they woxdd never derogate to anything from his just 
power, and that the chief ground of their demand was 
upon the just sense they had of his necessary absence 
from this country, which otherwise but for the sup- 
plying of that want they would forbear to press, — 
therefore, not to delay more time, his answer was 
briefly that he accepted that paper." ^ 

If by these Acts the Estates took more power than 
they ever had under the separate kings of Scotland, 
the national jealousy of English influence must be re- 

1 Acts of Pari., \-. 388, .389. ^ Ibid., .354. ' Balfour's Annals, iii. 64. 

PARLIAMENT, 1641. 141 

membered. Four years had not elapsed since William 
Laud, Archbisliop of Canterbury, was the ruler of 
Scotland, in so far as to control those large policies in 
which the vital interests and aspirations of the people 
centred. There were, indeed, members of the Estates 
who at that very time were ransacking the public 
documents, and discovering evidence of his mis- 
chievous tampering with the Scots national affairs — 
evidence collected for the completion of the charges 
on which the hapless intermeddler was brought to the 
block. One sees in the inner life of the history of that 
period how closely all that was done in Scotland was 
watched from England ; and it is impossible to avoid 
the conclusion, that these Acts of the Scots Estates 
were in the minds of the commoners of England 
when they superseded the regal executive, and ruled 
through the authority of Parliament.^ 

But even the superficial harmony which clothed 
this Parliament did not abide with it throughout ; 

1 The king's faithful servant, Sir Edward Nicholas, writing to him on 
the influence of these affairs on England, says, on 24th September : 
"Your majesty may be pleased to procure from the Parliament there 
some farther reiteration of their declaration, that what your majesty hath 
consented unto concerning the election of officers there may not be drawn 
into example to your majesty's prejudice here ; for, if I am not misin- 
formed, there will be some attempt to procure the like Act here concern- 
ing officers, before the Act of tonnage and poundage will be passed to 
your majesty for life." — Evelyn's Correspondence, v. 35. Again, on 5th 
October : " It is advertised from Edinburgh that your majesty hath 
nominated the Lord Lothian [Loudon] to be Chancellor. Whatsoever 
the news be that is come hither amongst the party of the protesters, 
they are observed to be here of late very jocund and cheerful ; and it is 
conceived to arise from some advertisements out of Scotland, from whose 
actions and successes they intend, as I hear, to take a pattern for their 
proceedings here at their next meeting." On the margin of this the 
king puts the ominous comment : " I believe, before all be done, that 
they will not have such great cause of joy."— Ibid., 4L 


and Avlien the Estates separated it was in strife, 
and with forebodings of a stormy future. There 
had been gathering among the leaders of the Cove- 
nanters a suspicion, coloured by a vague fear, that 
they had enemies within their own camp. These 
pointed at last with precision to Montrose, the Lord 
Napier, and Stirling of Keir. All executive steps 
by that Parliament were taken not only in his 
majesty's name, but through his majesty's proper 
officers of State. His Lord Advocate, Sir Thomas 
Hope, was on the 24th of July directed to take steps 
against the suspected men, and they were committed 
to the castle.^ Besides a certain letter written by 
Montrose to the king, the offence laid against the 
three collectively was ostensibly nothing more than 
the furtherance of a document called ' The Cumber- 
nauld Band.' This is a short document of general 
words and protestations ; and these are all in support 
of the Covenant, " which we have so solemnly sworn 
and already signed." But this supplemental covenant 
referred, as the cause of its existence, to " the particular 
and direct practising of a few " as thwarting the cause 
of the original Covenant. Something was meant here; 
for practical men like the adherents to the Cumber- 
nauld Band do not sign and then carefully keep out 
of sight empty declarations of sentiment intending to 
bear no fruit ; and the Estates applied to the occasion 

^ Of necessity a prosecution by tlie king's advocate against persons 
charged with conniving treason along vfith his majesty, was something 
so novel that it demanded novelty in the formalities. The Estates 
embodied their instruction in an " Act and warrant " addressed to the 
Lord Advocate, Sir Thomas Nicolson, and the "procurators," or solicitors 
chosen for the occasion, " to draw up the said summons, and to insist in 
consulting and pleading in the said process and hail proceedings thereof 
to the final end of the same." — Acts of Pari, (reschinded), v. 316. 


tlie rule adopted by the Tables, that none of the 
adherents of the Covenant should make separate com- 
binations with each other. Baillie saw so much 
perilous matter in the affair that he was constrained 
to call it " the damnable band." At the time there 
was no getting beyond mere suspicion, but we now 
know that Montrose had gone over to the king's 
party. It was said that he had gone to the king at 
that time when the king desired a personal meeting 
with fourteen Scots leaders, and that his Covenanting 
virtue had yielded to the royal smile. It has been 
proved that in the autumn or winter of 1639 he was 
in correspondence with the king.^ What we have of 
it does not contain any offer by Montrose to betray 
the cause for which he professed a high enthusiasm, 
but at the same time it does not tell or hint that 
the writer is incorruptible. And a correspondence 
between the head of one party in a war and the leader 
in the opposite camp is a phenomenon that does not 
exist without an object. Burnet, in one of his morsels 
of picturesque gossip, tells us, that before the treaty 
of Ripon, when the Scots had despatches to send to the 
king's Court at York — and such things were always 
vigilantly examined before they were sent away — Sir 
Eichard Graham opening one of these packets, a letter 
fell from it. Sir James Mercer, at whose feet the letter 
fell, in politeness picked it up, and by the glance he got 
while restoring it, observed that it was addressed to 
the king in the handwriting of Montrose.^ Montrose 
was arraigned on a charge of corresponding with the 
enemy, but extricated himself cleverly by demanding 

1 Napier's Memoirs of the Marquis of Montrose (1856), i. 227, 228. 
^ Memoirs of Duke of Hamilton, 179. 


if his accusers were prepared, contrary to all their 
announcements of loyalty, to count the king their 

There is scarcely anything to be gained by attempt- 
ing to trace too closely the motives on which a man 
has changed sides. He would often find it hard to 
discover them himself. There were things in his 
career that may have soured his spirit towards his 
coadjutors. James Graham, Earl of Montrose, was 
twenty-five years old when he let loose his vehement 
zeal for the Covenant in 1637. He led with success 
the parties sent by the Covenanters to intimidate the 
north. His rank, and probably his military capacity, 
were sufficient to get him these small commands; and 
he had the sagacious Leslie to help him with military 
experience. In so serious an affair, however, as the 
invasion of England, the Tables wisely decided against 
all patrician claims, and would trust their fine army 
to no one but a trained and successful soldier. A 
young man, ardent and inexperienced, was not the 
one to be intrusted with such a command. He saw 
his subordinate set over him, and he was not one of 
the temper to take any slight with dutiful humility. 
Then he was in bad blood with Argyle, and there 
were counter-charges between them. Montrose or his 
friends charged on Argyle how he had uttered words 
importing that kings were of no use, and King Charles 
might be deposed — the inference being, that he him- 
self would in some way virtually fill the empty throne. 
No doubt Argyle was an ambitious man, and inscrut- 
able in his projects and policy. It would be hard 
to say what visions would in a time of contest and 
confusion dawn on him who commanded the largest 

THE INCIDENT, 1641. 145 

following in Scotland. His territory was almost 
identically the same with that of the race whose rule 
had afterwards spread all over the country. But Scot- 
land was not then, or ever during the civil wars, in a 
humour to depose the king. In the words of one 
who gave well-penned counsel to the king at the time 
— believed by some to have been Montrose himself : 
"They have no other end but to preserve their reli- 
gion in purity and their liberties entire. That they 
intend the overthrow of monarchical government is 
a calumny. They are capable of no other, for many 
and great reasons ; and ere they will admit another 
than your majesty, and after you your son and nearest 
of posterity, to sit on that throne, many thousands of 
them will spend their dearest blood. You are not like 
a tree lately planted which oweth the fall to the first 
wind. Your ancestors have governed there, without 
interruption of race, two thousand years or thereabout, 
and taken such deep root as it can never be plucked 
up by any but yourselves."^ 

Driving King Charles from the throne of Scotland 
was a plot for which there were no materials, whether 
it were devised by Argyle or any other person. The 
talk about it seems to have come from Argyle's main- 
taining, as others did, that the Acts of the Estates 
in their session of 1640 were valid law, without the 
royal assent, either by the presence of a commissioner 
or the king's acknowledgment of the Acts. There 
was enough of reality in the charges and counter- 
charges to bring one poor man to his death. A certain 
Captain James Stewart bore witness to the uttering of 
the treasonable words by Argyle, and afterwards re- 

1 Napier's Memorials of Montrose and his Time, i. 268. 


tracted his testimony. On the fact that he had made 
the false charge, he Avas brought to trial for " leasing- 
makino-," convicted, and executed. The law for this 
cruel sentence was the same that had been stretched 
for the conviction of Lord Balmerinoch, one of the first 
aggressions of the prerogative by the ministers of King 
Charles. Its character was now subject to a cross- 
testing, since the powers of the king's prerogative had 
fallen into the hands of those who were the king's 
opponents. The leasing - making of the old Acts 
Avas in spreading rumours that might cause discord 
between the king and his subjects ; and it might 
either be in circulating false charges against the king, 
or in bringing to him false charges against any of his 
subjects ; — this was the shape in which the charge 
visited Stewart. 

The execution of Stewart would have passed as the 
necessary sacrifice of an insignificant person Avho had 
brought on his fate by excess of zeal, and probably 
the excitement about the counter-accusation would soon 
have Avorn itself out, but for an auxiliary incident. 
This came when, one day in October, all Edinburgh 
Avas awakened to lively excitement by the rumour 
that there Avas a plot for either kidnapping or murder- 
ing Hamilton, Argyle, and Hamilton's brother the 
Lord Lanark ; and that they had all fled for personal 
safety. There Avas a Parliamentary investigation into 
the matter, but all that it has left for inquirers in the 
present day is chaotic contradiction and confusion. 
It is one of the investigations which, for some reason 
or other, Avas either A^TCcked or so steered as to reach 
no conclusion. The fragmentary notices of the debates 
on this aff'air, which received both in Parliament and 

THE INCIDENT, 1641. 147 

history the name of "the Incident" are incoherent, 
and at the same time temptingly suggestive. 

Taking up the matter in meeting after meeting of 
the whole House, the Estates seem to have lost all 
hold on order and the forms of business — a fate likely 
to befall a representative assembly which had just 
recast itself, and adopted new powers and methods 
of transacting business. The king seems to have been 
carried olf in the torrent of debate ; and we find him 
in strange attitudes — at one time demanding things 
which appear not to be conceded to him ; at another 
pleading his innocence, as if he were arraigned on 
suspicion before some popular tribunal. On one point 
there is a clear debate between two opposites ; but 
though clear, it is in so shallow a part of the whole 
affair as to afford no valuable revelation. This is on 
the question whether the investigation that must be 
made should be undertaken by the whole House, or 
referred to a committee sitting with closed doors. The 
king at once emphatically spoke for open inquiry by 
the whole House. ^ As the discussion went on he 
continued passionately to demand an inquiry by the 

1 See Balfour's Annals, iii. 94 et seq. " A Relation of the Incident," 
Hardwicke's State Papers, ii. 299. Napier Memorials, i. 245 et seq. 

' The discussion brought out this curious dialogue : — 

" Sir Thomas Hope said : ' In such a business the most secret way 
was the best way; and yet both ways were legal, and the Parliament 
had it in their power which of the two ways, either public or private, to 
do it — but for secret and exact trial the private way was rmdoubtedly 
the best way.' 

" His majesty answered : ' If men were so charitable as not to believe 
false rumours, Sir Thomas, I would be of your mind ; but however the 
matter go, I must see myself get fair play.' He added that he protested 
that if it came to a committee, that neither his honour nor these inter- 
ested could have right, Nam aliquid semper adherehit." — Balfour's 
Annals, iii. 107. 


whole House ; he said " he behoved still to urge 
that which he would not delay to any of his subjects, 
Avhich was a public, exact, and speedy trial." ^ The 
expression was an apt one, for it is visible through all 
the confused debate that the king felt himself to 
be virtually on his trial. The Chancellor had visited 
the fugitives. He said "he had humbly on his 
knees begged his majesty's leave to go to them. He 
said that he had been with them, and they humbly 
besought each member of the House to rest assured 
that they would sacrifice their lives and fortunes for 
his majesty's honour and the peace of the country. 

"His majesty said. By God! the Parliament and 
they too behoved to clear his honour."^ 

Then, in another irritable outburst, " his majesty 
said that if it had not been published at first, but 
they had come and demanded justice, then he should 
have accorded to a private way. But, as my lord 
duke had said, rather or it be not tried, he should 
wish — if there were a private way of hell, he said — 
with reverence he spoke it — let it be used. But 
if they would sliow him that the private way was 
freer of scandal than the public, he would then be of 
their mind." ^ 

On another point there was a difference of opiuion. 
It was moved that the fugitives should be requested 
to return to their places in Parliament, "since the 
House had seen that they had very good reason to 
absent themselves for a time for avoiding of tumult." 

" His majesty answered that he wished they were 
here, and he hoped they would return ; but he would 
never assent that the House should make any such 

1 BalfoiU''s Annals, iii. 108. - Ibid., 112. ' Ibid., 115. 

THE INCIDENT, 164I. 149 

order, and that for divers reasons best known to him- 
self, which he should be loath to express in public." 
On both points the king was overruled. 

Hence the resolution carried was that the inquiry 
be made by a committee. 

From the brief abrupt notes that have come down 
to us, one cannot decide whether the Estates had good 
reason against an open inquiry at the beginning, nor 
can we see exactly to Avhat point the evidence taken 
by their committee tended.^ 

We trace the committee's inquiries, however, to one 
distinct point, where they stopped and put a powerful 
pressure on the king. Through all-becoming terms of 
reverence and loyalty for his majesty, in which the 
Covenanting politicians might have become perfect by 
practice, what they virtually say is — You must show 
us that last letter you had from Montrose, or abide 
the consec[uences of refusal. The letter was produced. 
There was a passage in this letter to the effect " that 
he would particularly acquaint his majesty with a 
business which not only did concern his honour in a 
high degree, but the standing and falling of his crown 
likewise." ^ The committee required that Montrose 
himself should explain these words. He referred to 
some previous explanation which has not been seen, 
and he " further declared that thereby he neither did 
intend, neither could or would he wrong any particular 

1 See notes of the "Depositions;" Balfour, ii. 121 et seq. They are 
mere memoranda. Baillie gives an account of the examination still 
more indistinct, as he could only give it from rumour. He begins 
by saying: "At once there broke out ane noise of one of the most 
wicked plots that has been heard of, that put us all for some days 
in a mighty fear." — Letters, i .391. 

= Balfour's Annals, iii. 132. 


person quhatsomever." " This being read," as the 
Lord Lyou informs us, " under Montrose's hand to the 
House, it did not give them satisfaction." Nor, indeed, 
did anything else in this inquiry ; for Avhen they had 
got distinct testimony " anent the apprehending the 
Marquis and Argyle, and sending them to the king's 
ship or else stabbing them," yet all becomes clouded 
with doubts and contradictions, and it is too late now to 
attempt to clear up what was uncertain to the commit- 
tee.^ If we could content ourselves with Clarendon's 
account, it would enlighten us with a startling and ter- 
rible clearness: "From the time that Argyle declared 
himself against the king, wliich was immediately 
after the first pacification, Montrose appeared with 
less vigour for the Covenant ; and had, by underhand 
and secret insinuations, made proffer of his services to 
the king. But now, after his majesty's arrival in Scot- 
land, by the introduction of Mr William Murray of the 
bedchamber, he came privately to the king, and in- 
formed him of many particulars from the beginning of 
the rebellion, and that the Marquis of Hamilton was 
no less faulty and false towards his majesty than 
Argyle ; and offered to make proof of all in the Parlia- 
ment, but rather desired to kill them both, which he 
frankly undertook to do. But the king, abhorring that 
expedient, though for his own security, advised that 
the proofs might be prepared for the Parliament."^ 
It has l)een souo-ht to discredit this statement of 


^ Balfonr's Annals, iii. 130 etseq. 

' Edition 1826, ii. 17. Ed. 1843, 119. Clarendon himself wrote some 
things which the politic decorum of the Clarendon Press would not 
permit it to print. The words "to kill them both" are among the 
suppressed passages restored in the edition of 1826. The words super- 
seding these in the old edition were, " to have them botli made away." 

THE INCIDENT, 1641. 151 

Clarendon's by a plea of alibi, since Montrose was 
under restraint during the king's visit to Scotland ; 
but when great people are involved in deep plots, 
such and much greater obstacles have to be overcome. 
That Clarendon did not tell the story casually or 
negligently is clear from the context, which shows 
that it was a pretext for a measure of precaution in 
England. There was a committee from the English 
Houses in attendance on the king in Scotland, who 
sent " a dark and perplexed account " of the Incident 
to their friends in England. Next morniuo- " Mr 
Hyde " — that is, the historian himself — " walking in 
Westminster Hall with the Earl of Holland and the 
Earl of Essex, both the earls seemed wonderfully con- 
cerned at it, and to believe that other men were in 
danger of the like assaults." Hyde made light of the 
matter, so far as they in England were concerned ; but 
on the letter from the commissioners being read to the 
Commons, they passed a resolution to apply to Lord 
Essex, as commander of the forces south of the Trent, 
for a guard to protect the members of both Houses.^ 
One more item of intelligence, before passing from this 
mystery, is the statement of Lanark, one of the three 
fugitives. Colonel Hume came to him, and said " he 
was informed there was a plot that same night to cut 
the throats both of Argyle, my brother, and myself. 
The manner of the doing of it was discovered to him 
by one Captain Stewart, who should have been an 
actor in it, and should have been done in the king's 
withdrawing - chamber, where we three should have 
been called in, as to speak with his majesty about some 
Parliament business ; and that immediately two lords 

1 Clarendon, edition 1826, ii. 17. 


should have entered at a door which answers from the 
garden with some two hundred or three hundred men, 
where they should either have killed us or carried us 
aboard a ship of his majesty's which then lay in the 
road."^ With these imperfect lights resting on it, 
the Incident must be left behind. It might not have 
demanded the interest it has obtained but for its 
unfortunate resemblance to other events peculiar as 
features in British history to that reign — such as the 
call for the attendance of the fourteen Scottish states- 
men which they were afraid to obey, the attempt on 
Hull, the panic of the city of London from the army 
plot, and the attempt to seize the five members.^ In 
all of these the perplexity of the historian who meddles 
with their perilous confusions is a faint reflection of 
that gloom and mystery, attended by solid terror, fall- 
ing on those who stood near to the influence of such 
events. For whatever may have been the amount of the 
real danger, it is certain that a heavy cloud of terror, 
fed by many rumours, hung over Edinburgh while the 
Estates were dealing with the Incident. The Parlia- 
ment was to be invaded — the castle to be regarri- 
soned — obnoxious members of the Parliament and the 
Assemblies tried by military tribunals — Borderers and 
Highlanders were to be brought into the city, and 
at any hour it might be at the mercy of the ten 
thousand Irish placed under Tyrone. 

But the concluding scenes of the inquiry into the 

' Hardwicke's State Papers, ii. 301. 

- Perliap.s by united industry and genius a " monogram " on the Inci- 
dent might be written, like Mr Forster's book on tlie five members. It 
gives two volumes octavo to two days' work ; but the track of inquiry 
is followed with so much skill and picturesque minuteness as to create a 
wonderful interest. 


Incident were overshadowed by another and far more 
awful mystery. Scotland was that division of the 
empire which it least concerned ; yet it comes up at 
this point, because the king, whose name was com- 
promised in it, heard of it while sojourning in Scot- 
land, and addressed the Scots Estates about it before 
he met the Parliament of England. His words were 
thus noted down : — 

"His majesty said that he was to begin at this time 
with a business of great importance, and whether it was 
of more or less importance as yet he could not tell, — 
only, two or three good and faithful subjects had writ- 
ten to him. Only amongst others he took out a letter 
from Lord Chichester, which he commanded the clerk 
to read to the House, showing the Irish had leapen out 
in Ireland in open rebellion, and that many of the 
Papists there had joined to them, taken some forts, as 
that of Dungannon, seized one magazine of his, and 
taken the Lord ShefSeld prisoner. He admitted that 
he thought good to advertise the House of this, that if 
it proved but a small revolt, then he hoped there was 
little need of any supply from this ; but if it proved a 
great one, he did put no question but they that were 
his own would have an especial care he were not 
wronged — for it was best principiis obstare." At his 
desire the Estates selected a committee of nine — three 
from each — " to advise the best course for the present 
to be taken in this business." ^ 

Such were the first words in which the king publicly 
dealt with that terrible event, the outbreak and mas- 
sacre in Ireland. In the matter of mere bloodshed, 
this tragedy has left a broader stain on history than the 
1 Balfour's Annals, iii. 120. 


Sicilian Vespers or even the night of St Bartholomew. 
It had more likeness to what we hear of the destroying 
march of Attila the Hun, than to anything in modern 
European history. Though the king was by some 
believed to be guilty in the matter, it was not for the 
actual outbreak and the murders, but for separate acts 
which gave opportunity for them. Indeed, the very 
horrors of the scene, and the utter disbelief that the 
king could have authorised them, has disturbed and 
perplexed the secondary inquiry, how far he was 
guilty of acts which gave occasion to the outbreak. 
To understand the gravity of any such imputatioL, 
we must look at an unpleasant peculiarity in the so- 
cial condition of the times. The European system 
of diplomacy, and the law of nations, including the 
courtesies of peace and war, are a relic of the Eomau 
empire which it has ever been difficult to carry beyond 
the bounds of civilised Europe. It was a rule by 
which men abstained from striking when they could 
strike, seeing there was no superior power to control 
them ; and Oriental communities could not understand 
how this could be. In this part of Europe the Celt 
was excluded from these privileges of the law of peace 
and war. Like the Roman slave, justice and mercy 
might in some measure be claimed for him by some 
other person who had an interest in him, but he could 
claim nothing for himself The regular clans, whose 
chiefs gave substantial security for the good behaviour 
of their followers, became thus entitled, while that 
good behaviour lasted, to some consideration. But the 
" broken Hielandmen " might be hunted and extirpated 
like wolves. The Irish Celtic population was too large 
to be so systematically dealt with by such vicarious 


responsibility ; but, on the other hand, the Saxon 
population was so small that it was generally glad to 
protect itself within the Pale. It was not so much 
that the native races were denounced by law, as that 
there was no law for them. We learn their treatment 
in that statute which warns Englishmen to shave the 
upper lip, otherwise they run the risk of being treated 
like the Irish. 

If any vindication of such a policy were worth ten- 
dering, it was that the Irish themselves were cruel 
and treacherous, and neither severity nor kindness 
would bring them to respect the courtesies of nations. 
Whether it were the converse of this, and that the 
treatment of the Irish by their invaders made them 
what they were, or that both depravities aggravated 
each other by action and counter-action, are questions 
which it is fortunately unnecessary here to solve. It 
is, however, a scandal to civilisation, that the treach- 
eries and cruelties caused by such conditions have in 
various parts of the world been more numerous and 
more conspicuously committed by the civilised man 
than by the savage. There is a simple reason for this — 
the savage is not trusted by his neighbours of any 
kind. The civilised man keeps faith with his fellow, 
and becomes trusted. Hence character gives him op- 
portunities which the other has not. A higher civil, 
isation has now been reached — that which keeps faith 
even with the treacherous. We had not learned this 
in the days of Clive, and it has taken all the powerful 
schooling of our acquisition and retention of our great 
Indian empire to teach it to our statesmen. Sir 
James Turner, a soldier of fortune, well seasoned to 
hardness and ferocity in the Thirty Years' War, yet 


carried away from that ordeal enough of human feel- 
ing to shudder at the work in which he was expected 
to bear a hand in Ireland. " The wild Irish," he says, 
" did not only massacre all whom they could over- 
master, but burnt towns, villages, castles, churches, 
and all habitable houses, endeavouring to reduce, as 
far as their power could reach, all to a confused chaos." 
His first experience on the other side was in a skir- 
mish with some rebels in the "woods of Kilwarninsf," 
" who, after a short dispute, fled ; those who were 
taken got but bad quarter, being all shot dead." The 
next feat was the siege of Newry, rendered " with a 
very ill-made accord, or a very ill-kept one ; for the 
next day most of them, with many merchants and 
tradesmen of the town who had not been in the castle, 
were carried to the bridge and butchered to death 
— some by shooting, some by hanging, and some by 
drowning — without any legal process." And on such 
scenes the Eitter of the Thirty Years' War soliloquises : 
" This was too much used by both English and Scots 
all along in that war — a thing inhuman and disavow- 
able, for the cruelty of one enemy cannot excuse the 
inhumanity of another. And herein also their revenge 
overmastered their discretion, which should have 
taught them to save the lives of those they took, that 
the rebels might do the like to their prisoners." ^ 
Taking the simple fact, that the Celts, both of Scotland 
and England, were excluded from the courtesies of 
civilised warfare, and that as they did not receive, so 
they did not grant quarter, their occasional appear- 
ances in the contests of the time were attended by 
sinister suspicions. 

■■ Sir James Turner's Memoirs, 20. 


Employing the Celtic races in civilised warfare was 
employing a force not expected to concede the cour- 
tesies of war to the enemy against whom they were 
let loose. Their hostility was not that of pugnacious 
enemies met in battle— it was, the hatred of one race 
to another ; and the object was not victory but ex- 
tirpation. To them the infant and the aged mother 
were objects of hate and hostility as much as the 
armed soldier. Hence it was a reproach to any 
civilised ruler to have used such a force — a reproach 
like that of employing Indians in the American war, 
the object of one of Chatham's famous philippics. In 
the present struggle both sides came under this re- 
proach. We have seen that the Highlanders taken by 
Arg}de to Dunse Law were an object of much unea- 
siness ; but they were only twelve hundred or so in 
an army exceeding twenty thousand, and hence might 
be kept in order. Many indignant reproaches were 
heaped on him when he swej)t the country with his 
army of four thousand ; but it was a palliation of the 
act, that only to a small extent did his devastations 
touch the Lowland districts. 

On the other hand. King Charles had assembled an 
army of nine thousand of the wild Irish for the in- 
vasion of Scotland. They were odious, of course, as 
Papists ; but they were dreaded for reasons which 
could not have extended to German or French troops 
of the same religion. When there was no longer an 
excuse for its retention, the king had shown great 
reluctance to disband this army. There were projects 
for giving the use of it to the King of Spain, and 
these were treated as mere devices for keeping an 
armed force of Irish Papists in existence for use when 


desired; — why otherwise should the King of Britain, to 
help the power of Spain, persist in an act that must 
be olfensive to his own people 1 At the time of the 
Incident this force was no doubt disbanded ; but their 
arms were all stored ready for use in Dublin Castle, 
and it was believed in Scotland that they might be 
made available on the shortest notice. 

It were well if this were all, but it brings us to the 
entrance of a darker mystery. On the 4th of No- 
vember 1641, Sir Phelim O'Neil, the leader of the 
rebellion, issued a proclamation, announcing : "To all 
Catholics of the Roman party, both English and Irish, 
within the kingdom of Ireland, we wish all happiness, 
freedom of conscience, and victory over the English 
heretics, that have so long time tyrannised over our 
bodies, and usurped by extortion our estates." In 
this proclamation he said he acted under a commission 
and instructions from the king, referring to " divers 
great and heinous affronts that the English Protest- 
ants, especially the Parliament there, have published 
against his royal person and prerogative, and also 
aorainst our Catholic friends within the kingdom of 

What professes to be the commission has been 
preserved. It begins : " Charles," &c., " to all Catholic 
subjects within our kingdom of Ireland, greeting. 
Know ye that we, for the safeguard and preservation 
of our person, have been forced to make our abode 
and residence in our kingdom of Scotland for a long 
season." Then referring to the outrages by the Eng- 
lish Parliament, it gives authority " to use all politic 
ways and means possibly to possess yourselves, for 
our use and safety, of all forts, castles, and places 


of strength and defence within the said kingdom, 
except the places, persons, and estates of our loyal 
and loving subjects the Scots; and also to arrest and 
seize the goods, estates, and persons of all the English 
Protestants within the said kingdom to our use."^ 

By some writers this commission has been cast 
aside as a forgery so obviously inconsistent with the 
surrounding conditions that its rejection requires no 
support from criticism. But this is a matter open to 
difference of opinion ; and any one conversant with 
the documents of the time could point to papers of 
undoubted authenticity, issued by the king, of a nature 
more inconsistent and surprising than this commission.^ 
Clarendon and others say that the great seal of Eng- 
land, taken from another writ, was appended to this.^ 

1 Rushworth, iv. 40L 

^ " The commission itself, for the grounds and language of it, is very 
suitable to other despatches and writings under his majesty's name, 
expressing much bitterness against the Parliament, and jealousy of the 
diminution of his prerogative, which was always his great fear." — 
Mystery of Iniquity, 38. 

^ Clarendon says : " They not only declared, and with great skill and 
industry published throughout the kingdom, that they took arms for the 
king and the defence of his royal prerogative against the Puritanical 
Parliament of England, which they said invaded it in many parts, and 
that what they did was by his majesty's approbation and authority. And 
to gain credit to that fiction they produced and showed a commission to 
which they had fastened an impression of the great seal, which they 
had taken off some grant or patent which had regularly and legally 
passed the seal ; and so it was not difficult to persuade weak and inex- 
perienced persons to believe that it was a true seal and real commission 
from the king." — Rushworth, iv. 403. The author of the History of the 
Irish Rebellion (1680) says: "One Plunket having taken an old broad 
seal from an obsolete patent of Earnham Abbey, and fixed it to a forged 
commission, it served to seduce tlie vulgar into an opinion of their 
loyalty." — P. 29, 30. When it reached Hume's day the shape of the story 
was : " Sir Phelim O'Neil having found a royal patent in Lord Caulfield'a 
house, whom he had murdered, tore off the seal, and affixed it to a com- 
mission which he had forged for himself" — Chap. Iv. This is founded on 
an account of what Ker, Dean of Ardagh, professed in the year 1681, to 


But O'Ncil's proclamation calls it a " commission 
under the great seal of Scotland." The passage 
already cited from it refers to the king as abiding 
in Scotland when it was issued : and the concluding 


words of the commission are, — " Witness ourself at 
Edinburgh, the first of October, in the seventeenth 
year of our reign." It has been said of the copy of 
the document as given by Rushworth, that in describ- 
ing the assumption of power by the English Parlia- 
ment, it anticipates political conditions which did not 
exist until after its date ; but in the king's way of 
stating the affronts put on him, he, on other occasions 
as on this, exaggerated what had been done, so as to 
give the picture a greater likeness of what was to be 

When we find the document thus treated as an 
evident fabrication, there arises an obvious question 
• — If there was a forgery for the purpose of creating 
a temporary delusion, why was it not in the name 
of the English Government, and under the great seal 
of England ? As a warrant of sovereignty, the great 
seal of Scotland was nothing in Ireland. If it was 

give of the trial of O'Neil : " The said Sir Phelim confessed that when 
he surprised the Castle of Charlemont and the Lord Caulfield, that he 
ordered the said Mr Harrison and another gentleman, whose name I do 
not now remember, to cut off the king's broad seal from a patent of the 
said Lords they then found in Charlemont, and to affix it to a commis- 
sion, which he, tlie said Sir Plielim, had ordered to be drawn up." — 
Nalson, ii. 529. The said Sir Phelim was fortunate in getting his order 
executed by one intimately acquainted with the condition of official 
business at that time botli in England and in Scotland. Isaac d'Israeli 
contents himself with saying in a note : " Sir Phelim O'Neale, the head 
of these insurgents, it was afterwards discovered, had torn oif the great 
seal, and affixed it to a pretended commission." — Commentaries, iv. 396. 
' See this articulately shown in Brodie's British Empire, ii. 380, 
edit. 1866. 


that only an impression of tlie great seal of Scotland 
was available, and that was considered better than no 
seal, the accident, when connected with what has yet 
to be told, is one of the strangest that ever happened. 
The anthor of a pamphlet which was jjublished two 
years later, and obtained great notoriety, gave cur- 
rency to the following rumour : — 

" It is said that this commission was signed with 
the broad seal of that kingdom, being not then settled 
in the hands of any officer who could be answerable 
for the use of it, but during the vacancy of the Chan- 
cellor's place intrusted Avith the Marquess Hamilton, 
and by him with one Mr John Hamilton, the scribe 
of the cross-petitioners in Scotland, and some time 
under the care of Master Endymion Porter, a very fit 
opportunity for such a clandestine transaction." ^ 

By a coincidence which, if there was no foul play, 
must be called unfortunate, it is known that on the 
1st of October, which is the date on the commission, 
the great seal of Scotland happened to be in a state 
of transition. It was doubtful who Avas responsible on 
that day for its custody and its use — it might be said 
to be amissing. Archbishop Spottiswood continued 
to be nominally Chancellor — at least no one had been 
appointed to succeed him, although he was excom- 
municated and a fugitive. The great seal had been 
committed to the charge of Hamilton. On the 30th 
day of September Loudon was made Chancellor by a 
joint Act of the king and the Estates under the new 
arrangement. Though thus appointed to his office on 

1 The Mystery of Iniquity yet working in tlie Kingdoms of England, 
Scotland, and Ireland, for the Destruction of Religion truly Protestant, 
discovered, 1643— attributed to Edward Bowles— p. 37, 38. 



the 30th of September, the great seal was not put 
into his custody until the 2d of October. On that 
day, under an order from the Estates, he, " for obedi- 
ence of the said command, produced the said great 
seal in presence of the king and Parliament." The 
order of the Estates shows at the same time that the 
author of the ' JM3'stery of Iniquity ' was acquainted 
with the minor arrangements about the custody of 
the seal. He mentions " one Mr John Hamilton ; " 
and the Act for the production of the seal sets forth 
that it had been used by the Marquess of Hamilton, 
" and his underkeeper, Mr John Hamilton, advocate." ■'■ 
The two c[uestions — first, whether the rebels had a 
commission under the great seal of Scotland ; and next, 
if they had, whether the king sent it to them — might 
perhaps reward the labours of one of these archseolo- 
gists whose taste and qualifications turn in the direc- 
tion of close minute inquiry. The questions, after all, 


' Act. Pari., V. 366, 367. When the author of the ' Mystery of Iniquity ' 
spoke of Endymion Porter as a man likely to play tricks with a great 
seal, his suspicions have something of a prophetic character, unless he 
happened to be acquainted with a secret transaction of the same year aa 
the publication of his jiamphlet (1643), which was not revealed until 
the Restoration. By that transaction there was to be a full toleration of 
the Roman Catholics, a measure that in later times, and freely granted, 
would have been entitled to all applause. The price, however, was to 
be — assistance against the Parliament from an Irish army of twenty 
thousand men. The negotiator was the Lord Glamorgan. When apply- 
ing through Clarendon for Court favour at the Restoration, he gave this 
account of his warrant for the transaction ; — 

" My instructions for this purpose, and my power to treat and con- 
clude thereupon, were signed by the king under his pocket-signet, with 
blanks for me to put in the name of Pope or prince, to the end the king 
might have a starting-hole to deny the having given me such commis- 
sions, if excepted against by his own subjects ; leaving me, aa it were, 
at stake, who for his majesty's sake was willing to undergo it, trusting 
to his word alone. 

" In like manner did I not stick upon having this commission enrolled 


are not of wide importance. Tlie king is not charged 
with the carnage that followed ; and if it be that he 
secretly asked the Irish Papists to assist him against 
his Puritan and Presbyterian assailants, the imputa- 
tion would make no serious addition to the weight of 
perverseness that depresses his political reputation. 
The elements of some horrible crisis were all prepared 
in Ireland — the political work of centuries had accu- 
mulated them, and an accident would give them life. 
But to have been the author of that accident — to have 
been even accused of it, if he were innocent — must 
have been a calamity sufficient to add many drops of 
bitterness to the heart of the most unfortun'ate of men. 
He was not a man of blood. His conscience was 
quick and active — too active, indeed, in its own 
peculiar direction, for the peace either of himself or 
others. Domestic affection was strong in him. Even 
that form of it which created so much wrath against 

or assented to by his Council, nor indeed the seal to he put unto it in 
an ordinary manner, but as Mr Endymion Porter and I could perform 
it, with rollers and no screw-press." — Letter from Glamorgan, after he 
had become Marquess of Worcester, to Clarendon, June 11, 1660 ; Clar- 
endon's State Papers, ii. 201-203. 

The object of the letter is to acquaint Clarendon " with one chief key 
where^dth to open the secret passages " between the late king and the 
marquess. It will be observed that he, a performer in the curious me- 
chanical feat described by him, was the author of that ' Century of 
Inventions ' who has often been credited with the invention of the steam- 
engine. If it is a fair conclusion that such a commission under the great 
seal of Scotland was sent to Ireland, it is easy to find who carried it over. 
The author of the ' Mystery of Iniquity ' says the Lord Dillon of Coste- 
lough went to Scotland with the queen's letters to the king. In the month 
of October he "went out of Scotland from his majesty into Ireland, 
bringing his majesty's letters, which he obtained by mediation of the 
queen, to be presently sworn a Privy Councillor of Ireland" (Rushworth, 
V. 349). He lay under heavy suspicion of connivance in the rebellion; 
and venturing into England, he was imprisoned by the Parliament on 
the charge, which, however, was never proved, that he had been sent as 
an agent " by the rebels of Ireland to the king" (Clarendon, 353). 


him — his devotion and entire loyalty towards his un- 
popular wife — told of a nature to which acts of cruelty 
and carnage must have been repugnant. 

If there was some sunshine when the Scots Parlia- 
ment opened in May, there was gloom enough in 
November when it closed. The business at the end 
was hurried over to let the kino- return to his English 
Parliament, with the new and terrible business that 
had fallen on the hands of both. Before he left Scot- 
land he conferred the distinctions already referred to. 
The Estates had determined to assemble once at least 
in every period of three years, and never to dissolve 
without fixing the period for reassembling. At their 
last meeting, on the 7th of November, " because this 
present Parliament is this day, by the assistance of 
God Almighty and his majesty's great wisdom, to he 
brought to ane happy conclusion," the next was ap- 
pointed to meet on the first Tuesday of the month of 
June, in the year 1644. 

The Scots Estates made an offer about Ireland, 
which in words was prompt and vigorous. They 
would immediately send, out of the materials of the 
fine army which had just been disbanded, a force of 
ten thousand men, with three thousand stand of arms. 
In the view of many of the English statesmen of the 
day the offer was far too good. Scotland was, in the 
division of parties elsewhere, so influential and power- 
ful, that nothing seemed too great to be achieved by 
her ; and with ten thousand well - trained men in 
Ireland, Scotland would have more command there 
than England ever had — it would be a direct trans- 
ference of the great Dependency. The project was 
not abandoned for these considerations. It was but 


languidly supported, however, from England, and only 
in part fulfilled. Leslie, with Monro as his lieutenant, 
landed in all about four thousand men at Carrickfergus. 
Again the antithesis of the two countries is repeated 
— Ireland in greater chaos than ever, though with an 
unusual unanimity in cruelty and destructiveness; the 
Scots force moving in the centre of all in its own 
separate distinctness, an army still more orderly and 
exact in drill than the Highlanders of fifty years 
earlier. One serious doubt disturbed them, — for whom 
were they fighting 1 Was it to king or Parliament 
that they were to look for their pay ? They sought a 
solution of the difficulty in reliance on their own com- 
pact action, and so held the towns and fortified places 
taken by them as provisionally their own. One of 
their body describes them as taking example from 
their own Covenant : " The officers of this our Scots 
army in Ireland, finding themselves ill paid, and, 
which was worse, not knowing in the time of the civil 
Avar who should be their paymasters, and reflecting 
on the successful issue of the National Covenant of 
Scotland, bethought themselves of making one also. 
But they were wise enough to give it another name, 
and therefore christened it a ' Mutual Assurance'; 
whereby upon the matter they made themselves 
independent of any, except those who would be their 
actual and real paymasters, with whom, for anything 
I know, they met not the whole time of the war."^ 
They would take no general orders but from home ; 
and so when Ormond, according to the same parti- 
cipator in their lot, " signified by a trumpet to us 
the cessation he had, by his majesty's appointment, 

1 Turner's Memoirs, 24. 


concluded with tlie Irish for a year, and required 
Monro in the king's name to observe it," " he re- 
fused to accept it, because he had no order for it from 
his masters of Scotland."^ Leslie, the commander, 
found, as we shall see, other work to do, and he left 
his charge in the hands of General Monro. To him 
fell the chief command of the English as well as the 
Scotch troops in Ireland, and in 1643 he was in 
command of an army ten thousand strong.^ 

The two divisions of Britain were too much occu- 
pied — each about itself, and both about each other — ■ 
to think much of unhappy Ireland. A committee from 
the English Parliament had accompanied the king to 
Scotland, for the avowed object of assisting him as 
a council, but the real object of transacting their own 
business with their friends in Scotland. Certain Scots 
commissioners at the same time attended the English 
Parliament, so that there was an official apparatus for 
close intercommunication. A General Assembly con- 
tinued to meet annually in Scotland as a matter of 
routine. Its business now had little interest except 
to those immediately concerned. The Assembly of 
1640 took up its testimony against private associa- 
tions of Christians for religious or ecclesiastical pur- 
jjoses, a practice out of the prevalence of which the 
Assemblies seemed to fear the groAvth of the Indepen- 
dent or Congregational system. They saw the growth 
of this system in England Avith much alarm, and lost 
no opportunity of denouncing it. The Presbyterian 

' Turner's Memoirs, 29. 

2 For an account of particulars of the services of Monro's army in 
Ireland, and its progress as far southward " as Killarney woods," see a 
paper in tlie 'Ulster Journal of Archaeology ' on the " Proceedings of the 
Scotch and English Force in the North of Ireland in 1642," viii. 77. 


party in England gave them a good occasion for 
speaking to this point, when in the General Assembly 
of 1641 "a letter from some ministers in England" 
was presented. These ministers were groaning under 
the yoke of Episcopacy, which they now had hope 
that God of His infinite goodness would remove from 
them. But this hope was somewhat shaded by the 
growth of sectaries, who maintained that each congre- 
gation was its own church government, with right of 
excommunication and all other powers of the keys. 
They modestly requested the judgment of the Scots 
Assembly on this difficulty, saying : " We do earnestly 
entreat the same at your hands, and that so much the 
rather because we sometimes hear from those of the 
aforesaid judgment, that some famous and eminent 
brethren even among yourselves do sometimes incline 
unto an ap^arobation of that way of government." 
The answer of the Assembly was of course an exhorta- 
tion to stand fast by the divine right of Presbyterian 
government. In acknowledgment of this, the Scots 
clergy received at their next Assembly, from their 
brethren of England, the comforting assurance : " Our 
prayers and endeavours, according to our measure, 
have been and shall be for the supplanting and rooting 
up whatsoever we find so prejudicial to the establish- 
ment of the kingdom of Christ and the peace of our 
sovereign. And that this declaration of ourselves may 
not leave you unsatisfied, we think it necessary farther 
to express that the desire of the most godly and con- 
siderable part amongst us is, that the Presbyterian 
government, which hath just and evident foundation 
both in the Word of God and religious reason, may 
-be established amongst us; and that, according to 

1 68 CHARLES I. 

your intimatiou, we may agree to one confession of 
faith, one directory of public worship, one public cate- 
chism and form of government — which things, if they 
were accomplished, we should much rejoice in our 
happy subjection to Christ our Head, and our desired 
association with you, our beloved brethren."^ 

That Assembly meeting of 1642 was honoured by 
a message from the Parliament of England calling 
attention to their declaration of their case in the 
quarrel with the king. 

This had gone rapidly onward since his return 
from Scotland. The grand remonstrance, the attempt 
to seize the five members, the impeachment of the 
bishops, the dispute about the militia, had followed 
on each other ; and at length, on the 28th of August 
1642, the king's standard was raised at Nottingham. 
Both parties looked with eager longing at the materials 
of the fine army lately disbanded in Scotland. Much 
as the governing men in Scotland had lately been 
pleased with the docility of their king, they were saga- 
cious enough to estimate it at its true value. They 
knew that his heart was at war with every Act to 
which he had put his hand, and that all would be 
reversed when the opportunity came. Indeed he was 
known to have said as much to those in his confidence, 
l)y whom the secret was not always completely kept. 

There came appalling rumours from Ireland. People 
had supped full of horrors in the carnage of the rebel- 
lion ; and the tale was so horrible that some have 
thought in later times that it was a great popular 
delusion, and that no more blood was shed by the 
Irish rebels than the necessities of war and the mis- 

1 Peterkin's Records, 294-96, 329. 


mauagement of undrilled combatants may reasonably 
account for. However this may be, the Irish massacre, 
as it stands in the ordinary histories, was then believed 
in Scotland, and believed with some exaggeration. 
Before this awful evidence of their bloody spirit had 
become known, there was a rumour that nine thousand 
of the Avild Irish were coming to sweep Scotland. 
After the terrible example had been shown, there was 
again a rumour of an invasion from Ireland, and it 
was to be on a larger scale. Glamorgan had made 
peace between the King of England and the Church 
of Eome. The Papists were to be encouraged by the 
Court, where they had a good friend in the queen. In 
return for the grace extended to them, they were to 
send over to Scotland an army of the men who had 
done the bloody work of the Irish massacre. Farther, 
the Scots were informed by their good friends of the 
Parliament of England, that the Lord Antrim, one of 
the leaders in the rebellion, had a negotiation in hand 
for gaining Monro and his army of ten thousand — 
Scotch and English — for the suppression of the Parlia- 
mentary party in England. 

While the king's party was playing a game of this 
kind, the English Parliament was day by day ap- 
proaching the perfection that ruled in Scotland, and 
reaping golden opinions from the Scots. On the 1 0th 
of August 1643, the commission of the Parliament 
of England in complimentary fashion addressed the 
General Assembly of the Church, claiming credit for 
following the footsteps of Scotland which had gone 
before : "To give them an account of their earnest 
desire to see the same work promoted and perfected 
among ourselves, which, though it hath been opposed 


and retarded by the industrious malice of the Popish, 
Prelatical, and Malignant party, yet through God's 
goodness it hath so far prevailed as to produce the 
removal of the High Commission, the making void the 
coercive powers of the prelates and their courts, the 
ejection of bishops from the House of Peers, the turn- 
ing out of many scandalous ministers ; besides that 
they have passed and presented to his majesty divers 
bills — viz., for the suppi-ession of innovations; for the 
more strict observation of the Lord's Day; against 
pluralities and non-residence ; for the punishment of 
the scandalous clergy ; for the abolition of Episcoj)acy, 
and the calling an Assembly." ^ 

At this period the Parliamentary party were in a 
critical position. They were steadily losing ground 
in the war, and defeat and death on the scaffold 
looked the leaders in the face. It was the question of 
life or death to them to have a good army, and Scot- 
land was the place where that commodity was to be 
found. Scotland was therefore earnestly and sedu- 
lously cultivated. Some thirty years before, the Scots 
were a people somewhat indifferent about religious 
matters, but late events had thrown them into the 
cause of the Covenant with all the ardour and steady 
endurance of their nature. The progress made by 
England towards their own position was the best mode 
of propitiating them ; and this policy was completed 
by a bold and brilliant stroke, when England, after the 
preliminaries to be told in dealing with the Assembly 
of Divines, adopted the Solemn League and Covenant, 
and suggested it as a bond of brotherhood for all the 
three kingdoms. A more august national compliment 

^ Peterkin's Records, 347. 


could not have been paid : it was the two great na- 
tions humbly and dutifully following the small com- 
munity of chosen people in the path of righteousness. 
The Solemn League and Covenant took the essence, 
both of its purport and of the terms in which this was 
expressed, from the National Covenant of Scotland. 

There were many references in the Scottish docu- 
ment to Acts of the Estates and the Assembly, which 
were of course omitted. But under that omission, 
necessary as it was, there lurked a great policy. It 
was these references that specially linked the Scottish 
Covenant to the Presbyterian form of Church govern- 
ment. Otherwise, it was a mere protest against Popery, 
and an obligation to support the Eeformed faith. The 
Solemn League and Covenant had nothing as a substi- 
tute for these references to bind its adherents to the 
Presbyterian polity. The only clause approaching 
such an obligation Avas for " the preservation of the 
Eeformed religion of the Church of Scotland, in doc- 
trine, worship, discipline, and government, against our 
common enemies." The promise as to the rest was, 
" The reformation of religion in the kingdoms of Eng- 
land and Ireland in doctrine, worship, discipline, and 
government, according to the Word of God, and the 
example of the best Eeformed Churches." ^ The Scots 
seemed to have no doubt that this meant their own 
example. The homage to the superior sense and 
sanctity of Scotland was intoxicating, and both in 
Parliament and the Assembly the Solemn League and 
Covenant were received with rapture. Statutes were 
passed for enforcing subscription throughout all the 
three kingdoms to this new testimony. 

1 Peterkin's Records, 362. 


On some minor points the English Parliament con- 
tinued to gratify the Scots Avith judicious alacrity. 
They were zealous against the religious observance of 
what they called " Youle," or the ancient heathen 
festival of YoU, preserved in England under the guise 
of Christmas. Would the Parliament gratify the 
commissioners by sitting and working on that day ? 
" We prevailed," says Baillie, " with our friends of the 
Lower House, to carry it so in Parliament that both 
Houses did profane that holy clay by sitting on it to 
our joy and some of the Assembly's shame."' ^ But 
though, ready to gratify them with any amount of 
words, or some small deeds such as this, the Parliament 
kept behind all a resolute determination never to 
subject themselves to Presbyterian discipline. 

The king told them at the time, what was true, 
that the Parliamentary party, " what pretence soever 
they make of the care of the true Reformed Protestant 
religion, are in truth Brownists and Anabaptists, and 
other independent sectaries ; and though they seem to 
desire an uniformity of Church government with our 
kingdom of Scotland, do no more intend, and are as 
far from allowing; the Church government established 
there, or indeed any Church government whatsoever, 
as they are from consenting to the Episcopal."^ 

' Baillie's Letters, ii. 12L 

" The King's Majestie's Declaration to all his loving Subjects of his 
Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh, 164.3. There is somewhat of a pathetic 
eloquence in the following passage in this paper : "We do conjure all the 
good subjects of that our native kingdom, by the long, happy, and unin- 
terrupted government of us and our royal progenitors over them — by 
the memory of those many large and public blessings they enjoyed under 
our dear father — by those ample favours and benefits they have received 
from us — by their own solemn National Covenant, and their obliga- 
tion of friendship and brotherhood with the kingdom of England, not to 


The Estates of Scotland assembled on the 2 2d of 
June 1643, to deal with the momentous question now 
demanding a decision. It was a meeting by convention 
— that is to say, without the warrant or concurrence 
of the king, and indeed in this instance against his 
counter-order. But this was no longer a critical step 
to be deeply pondered — it was a matter almost of in- 
difference, and was treated as the restoration of an old 
constitutional privilege which in the recent servile 
times had been almost forgotten. The Committee 
of Estates was reappointed, and the local war com- 
mittees resumed their work in the counties. The 
leading men and the nation at large had become 
accustomed to sudden calls to arms, as soldiers are 
when they have been in long practice ; and we 
hear nothing, as in the previous marches, of the 
rumours and preparations. 

When fully determined on, the affair was pursued 
with thorough earnestness. To meet the threatening 
exigencies of their allies, an army of twenty-one thou- 
sand men began its march southward in the depth of 
winter, with deep snow on the ground. It was natu- 
ral that the force should be again commanded by the 
old Earl of Leven ; but it has to be noted, because it 
was material to the result, that he was accompanied 
by his nephew, David Leslie, a greater soldier than 
himself, who assisted him as major-general. 

The capture of Newcastle by the Scots in 1641 
had made both parties see how important was the 

suifer themselves to be misled and corrupted in their affection and duty 
to us by the cunning, malice, and industry of these seditious persons 
and their adherents, but to look on them as persons who would involve 
them in their guilt, and sacrifice the honour, fidelity, and allegiance 
of that our native kingdom to their private end and ambition."— P. 8. 


port on which London and many other towns in 
southern England depended for fueh The place was 
strongly fortified and garrisoned. It was the point 
to which the queen was to bring the aid slie might 
obtain from abroad in money and troops. The news 
Avent about that at one disembarkation there were' 
landed there from the Hague, at the queen's direc- 
tion, a thousand stand of arms, twenty pieces of 
ordnance, and two thousand ^Dounds in money, accom- 
panied by eighty experienced officers, " with many 
horse for service, waggons, &c." ^ 

The Parliament issued an ordinance, finding " that 
since the beginning of the present troubles, that town 
of Newcastle, being possessed by forces raised against 
the king and Parliament, hath become and is the prin- 
cipal inlet of foreign aid, forces, and ammunition." 
As vessels entering the harbour on the profession, real 
or pretended, of exporting coal, helped the garrison by 
importing provisions and munitions of war, the expor- 
tation of coal from Newcastle was prohibited.^ The 
Parliament took strong measures artificially to supply 
London with coal from other places and with fire- 
wood; but while the town remained in the hands of 
the Eoyalists the prohibition was a source of extreme 
misery — it hence became all the more momentous that 
Newcastle should be taken. A special fund was raised 
in the city of London for this service, and with some 
ingenuity it was aided by a heavy licence duty on the 
privilege of bringing coals from Newcastle in exemp- 
tion from the prohibition. But the fighting- work was 
to be done by the Scots army. 

^ "A great Discovery;" Newcastle Reprints, 11. 
^ Ordinance ; Newcastle Reprints. 


On tlie 19tli of January 1644 Leslie again crossed 
the Tweed witli an army rather more than twenty 
thousand strong. We are told that the river was so 
strongly frozen as to permit a passage on the ice even 
for the heavy baggage. When they reached New- 
burn, -where they had crossed before, they found 
the passage too strongly fortified to be attempted. 
They had to march farther up, and on the 28th 
crossed at three fords — Ovinghame, Bydwell, and 
Altringhame. It was deep wading, and one of the 
army says: "The Lord's providence was observable 
in that nick of time we passed the river, which for 
eight days after would have been impossible for us 
to have done, in respect of the swelling of the river 
by the melting of the snow." ^ 

Resting on Sunday, they entered Sunderland on 
Monday the 4th. Appearances threatened a battle 
there. Sir Charles liucas, with a force estimated at 
fourteen thousand, and strong in horse, formed on a 
height close by in battle order, and the Scots pre- 
pared to close. The armies faced each other for a 
whole day. It was not the policy of the Scots to 
weaken themselves before besieging Newcastle; and 
Lucas, as it seems, thinking it unsafe to attack them, 
moved southwards. The retreat tempted the Scots 
to harass his rear; but a snowstorm, through which 
they could not see their enemy, baffled the attempt, 
and the English, after material losses from cold 
and storm, sought rest in Durham. The weather 
gave material advantage to the Scots, with their hard 
northern training. We find them taking a march of 
" eighteen Scottish miles when it was a knee - deep 

1 Proceedings of the Scottiali Army; Newcastle Reprints, 11. 


snow, and blowing and snowing so vehemently that 
the guides could with great difficulty know the way, 
and it was enough for the followers to discern the 
leaders ; notwithstanding whereof they were very 
cheerful all the way ; and after they had been a 
little refreshed at night, professed they were willing 
to march as far to-morrow." ^ 

Some small outforts — one of them at Coquet 
Island, another at South Shields — were easily taken. 
Without a Eoyalist army to support them they could 
not stand in the face of the large force brought from 
Scotland. The siege of Newcastle, however, was to be 
a great trial of strength. The Koyalists of the north 
took their families and movable valuables into that 
town, as the best hope for safety in the confusion 
of the war, and there a critical contest in the great 
civil war was to be decided.^ 

It was an affair of time. The Scots force had been 
hastened to the spot rather to blockade the town in the 
mean time than to attempt its capture ; for a large 
portion of the siege-train had yet to be brought up, 
and, in the language coming into use as to operations 

^ The Scots Army advanced into England, &c. ; Newcastle Reprints, 12. 

' An observer on the spot says : " The Scots lie quartered about 
Morpeth, Seaton, Hepham, Ogle Castle, Prude, and those parts about 
Newcastle ; and have laid a strong siege about Newcastle also, and lie 
close under the very walls. The Malignants are for the most part all 
gone into Newcastle when they tirst heard of the Scots." " They do 
carry themselves so civilly and orderly that the country do even admire 
them, taking not the worth of a penny from any man but what they 
pay fully for ; and they are not come unprovided, for every soldier 
hath two or three pieces in his pocket ; and there hath thousands come 
into them and taken the Covenant, and their army doth exceedingly 
increase." Tliese are the notes of a Parliamentary man and a par- 
tisan — a certain Colonel Curfet — arriving at the spot on the 4th of 
February. He seems to have taken service with Leslie. "A true 
Relation of the Scots taking Coquet Island;" Newcastle Reprints. 

SIEGE OF NEWCASTLE, 1643-44. 177 

on fortified places, tlie besieging general had to " sit 
down " before NeAvcastle. Desirous to avoid a storm- 
ing, they offered what they considered good terms, and 
complained that the enemy trifled with them.^ The 
Royalist garrison was indeed under strong temptation 
to hold out, as a slight turn in the fortunes of war 
might bring a relieving force to the gate. There were, 
as we shall see, great things done elsewhere in the 
mean time; but October came, and still the situation 
at Newcastle was the same. On the 19th the critical 
moment had come : " We had been so long expecting 
that these men within the town should have pitied 
themselves ; all our batteries were ready; so many of 
our mines as they had not found out and drowned 
were in clanger of their hourly finding out ; the winter 
was drawing on, and our soldiers were earnest to have 
some end of the business, which made the general, 
after so many slightings, to begin this morning to 
make breaches, whereof we had three, and four mines. 

' " 1. That all officers and soldiers who are desirous to go out of town, 
should have liberty to go, with arms, bag, and baggage, to any garrison 
not beleaguered, within sixty miles ; and should have a convoy, waggons, 
and meat on the way. 

" 2. That all strangers, sojourners, or inhabitants, who desired to go 
with the soldiers, should have the like liberty and accommodation. 

" 3. The town shall enjoy their privileges and jurisdiction conform to 
their ancient charters. 

" 4. The persons, houses, family, and goods of the citizens and inhabi- 
tants should be free and protected from violence. 

" 5. They should have their free-trade and commerce, as other towns 
reduced to the obedience of the king and Parliament. 

" 6. That any of them who desired to go into the country, and live in 
their country houses, should have safeguard for their persons, families, 
goods, and houses. 

" 7. That no free billeting should be imposed on them without their 
own consent. 

" 8. The army should not enter the town, but only a competent 
garrison." — Newcastle Reprints. 



Tlie breaches were made reasonably low before three 
of the clock at night. All our mines played very well. 
They within the town continued still obstinate. My 
Lord Chancellor's regiment and Buccleugh's entered at 
a breach at Close Gate. The general of the artillery, 
his regiment, and that of Edinburgh, entered at a mine 
at the White Tower." In all, eight storming-parties 
attacked through mines or breaches, and carried them.^ 

The fate of the town and its fortifications was thus 
decided. The castle held out, and capitulated on the 
27th. The decision of the great coal question, just as 
winter was beginning to announce his approach, made 
the event auspicious to the middle classes and the 
poor of England in the south. A Cavalier historian tells 
us that " the surrendry proved of great importance to 
the city of London, where the poorer sort of people 
for the two last years had been almost starved for want 
of fuel, coals having risen to the price of four pounds 
a chaldron, a price never known before that time."^ 

While the siege-works or "approaches" moved on, 
work had been found elsewhere for the general and 
the greater portion of the army. They marched to 
Tadcaster in March, and there met the Parliamentary 
army under Manchester, Fairfax, and Cromwell. A 
Royalist force under the Marcjuess of Newcastle held 
York, and the united armies determined to drive them 
out. The commander sent a flag to Leven, asking 
what his intentions were in having " beleaguered this 

1 " A Letter from Newcastle, &o., containing a Relation of the taking 
of Newcastle by storm, dated the 19th of October 1G44;" Newcastle Ee- 
prints. The places entered by the storming-parties are here enumerated, 
and explanations are afforded by the editor for their identification at 
the present day. 

= Echard, iii. 482. 

SIEGE OF NEWCASTLE, 1643-44. 179 

city on all sides, made batteries against it, and so near 
approached it." The old soldier's answer might have 
been taken as a jest if the game had been less serious — 
he had brought his forces before the city " with inten- 
tion to reduce it to the obedience of king and Parlia- 
ment." ^ The investment here was not so complete, 
however, as to prevent passage and the strengthening 
of the garrison. It was said that Rupert should have 
been contented wdth this; but it is questionable whether 
the augmented garrison could have stood against the 
augmented army before it. However it was, he gave 
battle at Long Marston ]\Ioor, about five miles west- 
ward of York. On this renowned field there are none 
of the marked features which sometimes help so mate- 
rially to clear the scope and tenor of a pitched battle 
from the confused details of those who have described 
it. The necessity of circumstances, not a choice on 
either side, forced the armies to fight it out where 
they were. To prevent the allies from reaching York, 
Rupert had to keep sufficiently near to wheel and meet 
his enemy at any point. Within that limit the allies 
had their choice of ground, and had any point ofi"ered 
advantage, they might have secured it ; but the whole 
was a flat plain, on which they descended from a low 
ridge of hills to the west. There were thus neither 
helps nor impediments, except of the smaller kind, in 
which one who was present mentions "furze and 
ditches." The only diff'erence between the two posi- 
tions was, that Prince Rupert's army was on the open 
moor, and the other in cultivated fields. The numbers 
seem to have been well balanced — about twenty-three 
thousand on each side. 

1 Rushworth, v. 624, 625. 


Prince Eupert headed one of those impetuous 
attacks for which he was renowned, and scattered 
before him the right of the allied army under Fairfax 
and Leven. It was one of those great blows that may 
confuse a whole army; but the other half was in very 
competent hands — those of Cromwell and David Leslie. 
They beat back their opponents, not by a rush, but 
a hard steady fight, and were on the enemy's ground 
when Eupert returned from a pursuit which he had 
carried too far. He found that while he had been away 
pursuing the defeated enemy, events behind him had 
arranged matters for a second battle, in which each 
occupied the ground that earlier in the day had 
belonged to the other side. The end was an entire 
victory both over those who had been driven back 
and those who had pursued as victors. There was 
much debate on the question whether it was to Crom- 
well or to David Leslie that the merit of the victory 
was due; and it came to be said that the English 
claimed it for Cromwell and the Independents — the 
Scots for David Leslie and the Presbyterians. The 
fact material to the position of Scotland at this point 
of time is, that certainly the victory would not have 
been gained but for the Scots army, and that the posi- 
tion taken by Scotland at this critical juncture gave 
a tone and influence to the whole of the struggle.^ 

^ There is more than the usual difficulty in unravelling the details 
of this battle, as on the side of the allies there were three commanders— 
Leven, Fairfax, and Manchester — and yet the victory is not accredited to 
any one of them. As if this did not furnish sufficient element of con- 
fusion we have to look to two committees — one from the English and 
another from the Soots Parliament — who were joint commanders-in-chief 
In the official despatches Leven's signature takes precedence, followed 
by Fairfax's and lilauchester's. In the despatch after the battle, David 
Leslie's name came in as a joint leader. He seems to have been the 

Montrose's campaign, 1644-45. 181 

It is now time to turn to a scene of strife nearer 
home. It Avas less momentous than the war in Eng- 
land ; it left the political conditions, indeed, just as it 
found them, and made no other mark on the country 
but the miseries attending a rapid succession of small 
battles. But these had picturesque peculiarities which 
have found for them an interest. It seems to have first 
occurred to the queen that the ardour and military 
genius of Montrose might be turned to use. To him 
it had occurred that a large amount of fighting ma- 
terial lay waste in the British dominions. He had 
himself seen the Celt at war in Scotland both as an 
ally and an enemy. The Irish rebellion had shown 
all too well that the race could be effective in one of 
the chief ends of warfare — the destructive. To the 
formal commander in legitimate warfare, the Celts, as 
seen chiefly in the Highlanders, had many and fatal 
defects. They had a system of discipline of their 

hero of the day, though Cromwell's presence, interpreted through his 
subsequent career, has brought him to the front in history. Cromwell 
had only the command of three hundred horse (Eushworth, v. 634), and 
though he no doubt handled them effectively, the force was scarcely large 
enough to give the ruling influence to such a victory. There is so little 
said of him in contemporary documents, that his conduct in the battle 
has been bandied between contradictory mysteries. By one account he 
had to be removed to get a wound dressed, and it was owing to this tem- 
porary absence of the ruling spirit that Rupert gained his advantage 
(A short critical View of the Political Life of Oliver Cromwell, by a 
Gentleman of the Middle Temple, p. 24). In the Memorial of Denzil 
HoUis it is maintained that Cromwell left the field in a fright — an ad- 
dition to the many instances in which, through the spirit of paradox, 
cowardice is attributed to those who by their general conduct have shown 
it to be nearly impossible that they could be liable to this frailty. It is 
said that in this battle four thousand were killed on the field, but, as 
usually befalls the returns of killed in battle, on imperfect information — 
merely that " the countrymen who were commanded to bury the corpses 
gave out that they interred four thousand one hundred and fifty bodies." 
(Rushworth, v. 6:35). 


own, very lax and precarious, and they would work 
in no otlier. They would follow no leaders and obey 
no commanders but those whom the accident of birth 
had set over them, and the highest military skill was 
lost in any attempt to control them. They were in- 
veterate plunderers ; and instead of contenting them- 
selves with articles small and valuable which they 
could carry with them on the march, or with the 
price of what they could sell, they would seize any- 
thing — furniture or clothing — and scamper home with 
it. After a battle they all dispersed to their own 
glens, — loaded with plunder if they were successful — 
dejected and dispirited if they were not. They were 
unsteady in face of a fusilade, and the roar of the 
cannon scattered them like a flight of pigeons. Finally, 
if they were unsuccessful in their first dash at the 
enemy, they gave up the contest and dispersed. On 
the other hand, they were all ready for the field, and 
trained to fight after their manner. Their rush on 
the enemy was terrible. If the method of conducting 
a war were to their taste, their patience and endur- 
ance were inexhaustible. They were fit for the field 
after starvations that ^vould ruin ordinary troops. 
They required no commissariat or baggage-train, and 
could cross wild ranges of country, and pounce on any 
destined spot like their own eagles. 

Since the time of Harlaw there had never been so 
many of them in the field as to be properly a High- 
land army. When the old claims of the Lords of the 
Isles to something like royalty died, the chiefs of clans 
would not serve under each other. Hence no High- 
land army was ever led by a Highlander. It was 
to be seen whether such a feat could be accomplished 
by a Lowlander. The experiment succeeded. If the 

MONTROSE S CAMPAIGN, 1644-45. 183 

clansman had liis own immediate chief to give the 
word of command, the question, Avho gave authority 
to that chief, was beyond the scope of his philosophy. 
With such their defects and their qualifications, there 
was a prejudice against the employment of such hands 
in warfare — a certain discredit rested on the act, 
indeed, for reasons already referred to.^ The vindi- 
cation for their employment on this occasion would 
of course be, that the cause of the Crown being in a 
desperate condition, demanded and justified a desper- 
ate remedy. 

Montrose's scheme was not so wild as at a first 
glance it might appear. He did not propose to re- 
conquer Scotland to the royal cause with bis High- 
landers, even though aided by unlimited drafts on 
Ireland. His project was to get Leven's army, of 
more than twenty thousand trained and hardy soldiers, 
out of England, where they decidedly turned the 
balance of war against the king. He was to make 
them find the necessity of returning home for the 
defence of Scotland. When he first suggested the 
plan, it was by Hamilton's advice rejected ; and some 
authors on the Cavalier side regretfully say that it 
was adopted just when it had become too late. 

His commission gave him plenary sovereign powers, 
through an ingenious arrangement for avoiding of- 
fence to those of rank above his own whom he was 
set over. A patent was issued to Prince Eupert of 
a novel character, making him Viceroy of Scotland. 
Montrose was his lieutenant, who was to do the vice- 
roy's work. His intention was to march from Eng- 
land with a force sufiiciently strong to make its way 
through Scotland, until it was joined by the High- 

^ See above, p. 154. 

1 84 CHARLES I. 

landers and the Irish promised by Antrim. In this 
view he desired a detachment from Newcastle's army 
in the north to be put at his command. Coming, as 
he did, with high authority and designs which must 
weaken an army already all too feeble for its own 
work, he Avas not a welcome counsellor to the har- 
assed commander of the royal army. He got but a 
small force — some eight hundred footmen, as it is said, 
and three troops of horse. With these he was able to 
do no more than harass the south-west of Scotland, 
and drive the Covenanters out of the town of Dum- 
fries. He thought by personal application to Prince 
Eupert, his superior in command, to accomplish his 
object. But he joined Eupert on the day after Marston 
Moor, not a time propitious to parting with a portion 
of his army.^ It became clear that Montrose would 
not obtain a force sufficient to carry him to the spot 
where he was to find his Irish and Highland army. 
This was no doubt irritating and mortifying ; but in 
the end it was the foundation of his fame, since it 
gave him the opportunity for playing the hero in one 
of the most brilliant passages of the romance of war. 
He resolved to find his way in disguise to the place 
where he would discover his army. He executed this 
design very skilfully. As Lieutenant-General of Scot- 
land he was ostensibly on his way to the king at Ox- 
ford in all suitable pomp. The carriage and the train 
kept moving slowly onwards, while he who should 
have been the centre of all the pomp was on his way 
through Scotland, dressed as a groom, and, to appear- 
ance, in attendance upon two gentlemen, Sir William 
Eollo and Colonel Sibbald, who virtually were in 

' Rush worth, v. 482. 

Montrose's campaign, 1644-45. i8S 

attendance on him. He thus arrived in safety at 
TuUibeltane, in the Highlands of Perthshire, where he 
found his kinsman, Graham of Inchbrachie. The ad- 
venture appeared for some time to be a dead failure. 
The Estates and their committee had organised so 
strong a government that neither those Lowlanders 
Avho belonged to the Cavalier party, nor the Highlanders 
who were delighted to rise against any government 
that was strong and orderly, durst move. He heard 
at last that Antrim's Irish troops had arrived,- — a per- 
centage only of the promised number — some twelve 
hundred instead of ten thousand. They were in 
imminent danger of extermination by Argyle, when 
they received an order from Montrose, as the king's 
lieutenant, to march to Blair AthoU. Here he raised 
the standard. The " fiery cross " went through the 
glens, and with the marvellous celerity peculiar to 
Highland gatherings, he was speedily at the head of 
some three thousand men. Accident favoured him ; 
for his standard was joined by Lord Kilpont, Avith a 
body of men who had been assembled for the avowed 
purpose of opposing the Irish aggressors. It was 
resolved to march on Perth, Montrose Avalking at the 
head of his force in a Highland dress.^ 

When rumours of this formidable movement reached 
the citizens of the town and the neighbouring Low- 
landers, they gathered in a tumultuous body, placing 
Lord Elcho at their head. They marched, if march- 
ing it could be called, to a barren plain called Tip- 
permuir, some four miles west of Perth. It is said 

' His costume is called " coat and trews," or tronsers, a costume not 
now associated with the Highlands. In one place, however, Spalding 
says " the lieutenant was clad in coat and trews, as the Irishes was 
clad," meaning by " Irishes " Highlanders (p. 409). 


that tliey were more than double the numljer of their 
enemies ; but, a mere mob as they were, their numbers 
only increased their incapacity to meet an enemy. 
On Montrose's side we have the first instance of that 
simple tactic by which many Highland victories were 
afterwards gained. Those who had pieces discharged 
them and threw them down ; then all swept forward 
in the great rush that must be destructive either to 
their enemies or themselves. In this instance the 
rush was successful — the confused mass of people at 
once broke and scattered. They were pursued and 
slain by their nimble enemies. It is only in the 
amount of the slaughter — estimated at two thousand 
— that this affair deserves the dignified title of a 
battle ; it occurred on Sunday the 1st of September.^ 
At a distance, however, it sounded emphatically in 
giving Montrose possession of Perth. This city was 
at that time second only to Edinburgh as a military 
position ; it was the capital of a large district, and 
in the centre of Scotland. A battle followed by such 
an acquisition seemed almost to balance Marston Moor 
and the possession of York. 

To Montrose, however, the acquisition was only 
of importance in the plunder it afforded. He re- 

1 Such, when stripped of attempts at military pedantry, appears to 
be the purport of the account of " the battle of Tippermoor " given by 
Montrose's eulogistic biographer Wishart. It is useless to compare it 
with the other accounts, as they are all derived from it. The ground 
where the affair occurred is a low upland now covered with a dark fir 
plantation. It rises up westward from a farm called Cultmalindy, and 
its local name is Lamerkin Muir, Tippermuir being the name of the 
parish and a neighbouring small village. Except that it has a full view 
of the Grampians, it is an uninteresting battle-field, was not se- 
lected according to a tactic on either side, but was the mere spot where 
the two bodies of men, going in opposite directions, met each other. 
For the local account of this affair see Memorabilia of Perth, 107. 

Montrose's campaign, 1644-45. 187 

mained but three days in Perth. He had to evade 
Argyle, who was approaching with a large force ; and 
his Highlanders, as usual, were scattering homewards 
with their plunder. From some mysterious quarrel, 
Kilpont was murdered in the camp, and his con- 
tingent went off in a body. Montrose had few beyond 
the worthless Irish, who could not leave him. He 
found compensation for his losses, however, in recruits 
from the Oa;ilvies and other Cavaliers on the Braes 
of Angus. With an army fifteen hundred strong he 
resolved to attack Aberdeen. By repeated onslaughts 
and continual harassment that ill-fated town had 
been subdued to the cause of the Covenant, those 
citizens whose stubborn spirits would not conform 
finding a home elsewhere. It was sometimes, as a 
place of questionable fidelity, garrisoned by large 
bodies of the Covenanting forces. At this juncture 
it was but slightly protected. The cause, however, 
mustered nearly three thousand men, a great portion 
of them from the south of Scotland. 

Montrose avoided the difiiculty of the Bridge of 
Dee by crossing the river ten miles higher up. He 
met the Covenanting army to the westward of the 
city, between "the Craibstane and the Justice Mills." 
They fought for two hours, and then the Covenanting 
army fled. " There was little slaughter," says an eye- 
witness, " in the fight ; but horrible was the slaughter 
in the flight — fleeing back to the town, which was our 
townsmen's destruction. Whereas if they jhad fled 
and not come near the town, they might have been 
in better security." " The lieutenant follows the 
chase to Aberdeen, his men hewing and cutting down 
aU manner of men they could overtake within the 

1 88 CHARLES I. 

toMm, upon the streets, or in their lionses, and round 
about the town, as our men was fleeing — but mercy 
or remeid. Tliese cruel Irishes, seeing a man well 
clad, would first tyr [strip] him and save the clothes 
unspoiled, then kill the man."'^ 

Of the scenes occurring when towns are at .the 
mercy of lawless captors, history sometimes affords 
accounts too grandiloquent for distinctness ; and one 
may have a better notion of the reality from the im- 
pression made on the town-clerk in his walks abroad : 
" The men that they killed they would not suffer to 
be buried, but tirred them of their clothes, syne left 
their naked bodies lying upon the ground. The wife 
durst not cry nor weep at her husband's slaughter 
before her eyes, nor the mother for the son, nor 
daughter for the father — which if they were heard, 
then they were presently slain also." The town was 
taken on Friday the 13th of September, and next day 
Montrose marched westward with his force, " except 
such Irishes as were plundering the town and killing 
our men wdiich went not with them." ^ This was an 
instance of the spirit which made it a scandal in that 
age to employ such instruments in warfare. This was 
the third visit paid by Montrose to Aberdeen. In the 
two former he had chastised the community until he 
brought them into conformity with the Covenant, and 
now he made compensation by chastising them for 
having yielded to his inflictions. 

He wandered through the Gordon country only to 
experience a mortifying illustration of the character 
of Highland politics. All his efforts to communicate 
with the head of the house were bafl^led. Whether it 

' Spalding's Memorials, ii. 407. = Ibid., 407, 408. 

Montrose's campaign, 1644-45. 189 

was that Huntly would not co-operate with the man 
who had betrayed him, or that, as some said, he had 
hidden himself from his enemies so effectively that 
even his friends could not find him, Montrose never 
got the use of his name for raising his people, and 
therefore appealed to their sense of loyalty in vain. 
So nimbly, indeed, did they evade the messengers 
sent among them, that the country appeared empty 
of men. 

The point of wonder in Montrose's operations 
henceforth is the apt use he made of the peculiar 
qualities of his force in rapid movements from place 
to place. For some time in the north he and Argyle 
were close to each other, and their contest was like 
that of the hawk and the heron — Montrose never 
permitted the two to come so close together as to 
touch each other unless when he was prepared to 
wound. In winter Argyle retired to his own castle 
at Inverary. It was a current belief that the passes 
into the Argyle country, difficult in summer, were 
utterly impracticable in winter. They Avere therefore 
carelessly protected, and the lord of the domain was 
abiding in indolent security in his castle. Montrose's 
stanch follower, Macdonald of Kolkitto, had been 
absent raising men in the far north-west, and had 
returned with a large reinforcement. Thus strength- 
ened, Montrose resolved to try the metal of his High- 
landers by a winter raid in the territories of the 
dreaded MacCallum Mohr. He was so expeditious 
and silent that he all but caught his great enemy in 
his lair. Argyle escaped by sea. From December 
1644 to February 16 4 .5 the poor people of his country 
were scourged and harassed by relentless marauders. 


Then these returned again home with their booty, and 
Montrose's policy became that of the fugitive. 

Argyle was gathering forces at Inverlochy, under 
the shadow of Ben Nevis, in the north-west corner of 
his territory. From another side the Lord Seaforth 
threatened j\Iontrose with a large body of the Cove- 
nanters of the far north. The exigency was one to try 
the resources of a military genius, and it was duly 
met. He carried his small army, winter as it was, over 
those terrible mountains, where travellers sometimes 
die of cold in summer, and pounced on Argyle, abiding 
in security on the level banks of Loch Linnhe. The 
surprise was complete; and Argyle's people, after an 
ineffective resistance, fled to the hills. Argyle himself 
has been bitterly reproached for betaking himself to 
his galley instead of remaining at the head of his 
people. The act was stigmatised as cowardice. In 
truth, however, a man in Argyle's position had heavy 
difficulties to contend with. He had great ability, 
and much of this ability was shown in controlling 
men ; but it was in civil policy, not in war. He was 
not naturally a soldier ; yet in that day there was no 
transferring the military command of a clan — nature 
had pointed out the leader, and no other could supply 
his place. His political conduct was not that of a 
coward, and his death was heroic.^ 

After having kept his small army alive and out of 
sight in the northern Highlands for some weeks, we 

1 Baillie, when telling how he threw his lot in with the Covenant 
party at the Assembly of 1638, when the step was dangerous, says : " It 
has been the equity of our cause which has been the only motive to 
make that man, in that necessar time, to the extreme hazard of his 
head and all he possesses, to encourage us openly by his assistance." — 
Letters, i. 1 46. 

Montrose's campaign, 1645. 191 

find Montrose, in the beginning of April, pouncing 
suddenly on the town of Dundee. The outline of the 
doings of his little savage army there makes it not 
uncharitable to suspect, that had a minute chronicler 
like Spalding been present, he might have given even 
a drearier picture of pillage and cruelty than the sack 
of Aberdeen. The stay, however, here was brief. 
The Committee of Estates had thought it necessary to 
bring over General William Baillie to oppose Montrose's 
career. It will be observed that as yet he had not been 
face to face with any commander who was a trained 
soldier. A small detachment of rank and file seems 
to have been at the same time sent from the army in 
England, for we have frequent reference to a thousand 
trained soldiers belonging to the army of the Cove- 
nant. By the presence of these and of Baillie, and 
another old soldier, John Hurry or Urry, Montrose's 
nimble motions were guided. They were at the same 
time infiuenced by the fluctuations in his own army. 
When he had three thousand men in hand, he could 
haunt the Covenanting forces in the low country ; 
but when he had only a third of that number, he had 
to keep the mountains, where he was inaccessible. 
He was at one time joined by a body of the Gordons ; 
but they disappeared suddenly one day, and neither 
the commander nor any other person could discover 
why they deserted. In May he found himself in 
Morayland with three thousand men, in face of Urry, 
who had with him the best troops of the Covenanting 
army. Montrose's policy was the defensive ; and he 
made a small fortified camp of the village of Auldearn, 
in the county of Nairn. Here on the 9th of May he 
was vigorously attacked by Urry, who threatened to 


force his left, where Kolkitto commanded. Some 
mistake made by a subordinate commander on Urry's 
side tempted Montrose to try the aggressive. He 
ordered his wliole force to throw themselves on the 
enemy, and again the Highland rush was effective in 
scattering them.^ Urry cai-ried his l^roken forces to 
join Baillie, and both ascended the valley of the Don 
in Aberdeenshire, where Montrose appeared to be re- 
treating before them. He ascertained, however, that 
though the two experienced generals were in the 
army, the thousand trained troops were elsewhere, 
under the command of the Lord Lindsay. He took 
up a strong position near the village of Alford. It 
was a low hill westward of the village, forming a 
ridge running east and west, and rising towards the 
west, where it has a full view of the surrounding 
country. The ground whence it rises is now well 
cultivated, but it was then a marsh or bog. The 
Covenanter generals believed that he was avoiding 
battle, and had the temerity to cross the river to 
attack him. The two armies were about equal in 
foot, neither having more than two thousand ; but 
the Covenanters had a considerable superiority in 
horse. The fight was an obstinate one, but in the 
end the Covenanters were again beaten. Montrose's 

^ Spalding says ; " This overthrow was attribute to ane Orowner or 
Major Drummond, who wheeled ahout unskilfully through his own foot, 
and brake their ranks, whereby they were all slain by the enemy ; and 
for the whilk, by council of war holden thereafter at Inverness, he was 
shot, standing on his feet, but not at ane post. There was reckoned to 
be slain here at this bloody battle above two thousand men to Hurry, 
and some twenty-four gentlemen hurt to Montrose, and some few Irish 
killed — which is miraculous, and only foughten with God's own finger, 
as would appear, — so many to be murdered and cut down upon the 
ane side, and so few on the other."— Memorials, ii. 474. 

Montrose's campaign, 1645. 193 

name was now to the Covenanters an object of terror 
and exasperation. There was a general feeling that 
the faithful must rise throughout the land and sup- 
press him. In Fifeshire^an early stronghold of the 
Covenanters — the old spirit was rekindled, and burned 
vehemently. One army was fast gathering there, and 
another among the western Whigs, where the Covenant- 
ing spirit was of more recent planting, but had been 
of rapid and powerful growth. It was now the policy 
of Montrose to strike a decided blow at the existing 
army before it was enlarged by the new-comers. He 
was in a fitter condition for such a feat than he ever 
had been before, since the fame of his two victories 
in the northern Lowlands had penetrated far through 
the mountains, and brought him reinforcements from 
the distant clans of the west of Inverness-shire and 

The movements of the two forces had now shifted 
the theatre of war to the south side of the Forth, 
nearly two hundred miles from the scenes of the late 
battles. Montrose kept within the range of the 
Campsie Hills, where he could at any time secure 
himself. Baillie, his antagonist, had the larger force 
— six thousand in all, including the valued thousand 
who had been thoroughly trained to arms. Whether 
it was owing to Baillie's own imprudence, or to the 
conceited obstinacy of the Committee of Estates, 
who controlled him, the mistake was again made of 
supposing that Montrose shunned a battle. For the 
purpose of finishing the war before the enemy was 
reinforced, he courted a meeting, provided it were at 
his own time and place. The valley behind the small 
town of Kilsyth, where he waited for his enemy, is 



now a small lake or reservoir for supplying water to 
works close l)y. But enough of it is visible to sliow 
that it was excellent ground for Highland warfare. 
The battle l^egan with some legitimate fighting, in 
which the Ogilvies and other Lowland Cavaliers took 
part. But the Highland onset was again tried at the 
rio-ht time. The human torrent rushed down the brae 
with a wild roar or yell, and carried all before it. As 
at Tippermuir, there was a long and bloody pursuit. 
The slaughter was far beyond any usual proportion to 
the number engaged. It was a boast, indeed, of the 
Cavaliers, that not one unmounted Covenanter escaped 
alive. The defeated general maintained that he was 
not responsible for the calamity, that the Committee 
of Estates had interfered so with his functions as 
a military commander, that he resolved to let them 
command in reality, abiding in his place only that he 
might do his best under them to save the army from 
destruction at a juncture when "the loss of the day 
would be the loss of the kingdom."^ 

It now appeared as if Scotland were regained for 
King Charles. The prisons were emptied of the 
Cavaliers confined in them, and everywhere the Royal- 
ists ruled the day. Montrose and his assistants have 

' Baillie's Letters, ii. 421. Argyle, a bad soldier, appears to have 
dictated in name of the committee : " My lord marquis asked me "what 
was next to be done. I answered the direction should come from his 
lordship and those of the committee. My lord demanded what reason 
was for that. I answered I found myself so slighted in everything be- 
longing to ane commander-in-chief, that for the short time I was to stay 
with them I should absolutely submit to their direction and follow it." 
So far as the loss of the battle was caused by mismanagement, he attri- 
buted it to " our removing from that gTound whereon we stood first em- 
battled, being so near an enemy who had sundry advantages of us." — 
Ibid., 420-23. 

Montrose's campaign, 1645. 195 

been praised for their moderation in not exhausting 
the proper harvest of victory and subjugation. But 
they were on a perilous elevation. All the strong 
places were still in the hands of their enemies. The 
Covenanters had lent to England, and might recall, an 
army worth six times as much as any one which Mon- 
trose had defeated. He had only shown, what might 
have been presumed, that Highlanders trained to 
fighting, though in a bad school, made better fighters 
than Lowlanders not trained to war at all. He had 
the merit certainly of bringing into effect this peculiar 
force, hidden until his day ; but he had not yet 
measured swords with a professional soldier at the 
head of eff'ective troops. 

To give full effect to Montrose's military strength, 
he received that title of Viceroy which had been 
given to Prince Rupert, and stood nominally in the 
position of absolute ruler of Scotland. The danger 
that all might be overturned lay in the south, and 
unconsciously he went to meet it. He was very de- 
sirous to recruit his army from the Borders, and to 
obtain from that country some serviceable horses. To 
this end, and that he might be near the friends of the 
cause in England, Avhom he was to aid when Scotland 
was all settled, he moved southwards. This was not 
acceptable to the Highlanders, who had ever a reluc- 
tance to trust themselves far from the protection of 
their own mountains. It was natural to them to 
return with their booty after a victory, especially if 
there was no immediate prospect of more fighting. 
They therefore went off in considerable bands. 

The Scots army was before Hereford when a press- 
ing demand for their assistance at home reached them 


from the Committee of Estates. The detachment sent 
was entirely cavalry, for the sake of expedition. They 
were commanded by David Leslie. They entered 
Scotland at Berwick, where the Committee of Estates 
and other eminent political persons were living 
as refugees from Edinburgh, where the plague then 
was rife. Thus Leslie got the best information as to 
the condition of the country and the steps he was ex- 
pected to take. He moved northward until he reached 
Gladsmuir, near Prestonj)ans. He expected here to 
find and fight his enemy ; and this is not the only 
occasion in history in which we may find a battle 
expected as likely to occur on a spot where a battle 
does occur in a later chapter of history. There seem 
to be certain physical conditions which practical men 
recognise as the spots where opposing armies are likely 
by the force of events to meet in battle. Here he 
learned that Montrose was still on the Border, and he 
resolved to wheel round and fall on him by surprise. 

On the night of the 12th of September 1645, Mon- 
trose set his headquarters in the town of Selkirk, 
while his attenuated army was encamped on Philip- 
haugh, about two miles to the westward. As the 
name haugh imports, the spot was a diluvial flat plain 
on the side of a river ; the river was the Ettrick, and 
the place a little above its junction with the Tweed. 
There was a wood close by called the Harwood, which 
was said to protect the army from any surprise from 
the west. But in truth no precautions were taken 
against a surprise. That was a contingency deemed 
beyond the range of possibilities, otherwise Montrose 
could never have placed Highland troops on a fiat 
plain, knowing, as he must have known, how eminently 

Montrose's campaign, 1645. 197 

their method of fighting demands the command of the 
ground. There was abundant mountain ground hard 
by, and the selection must have been made for ease 
and convenience, not for defence.^ So imperfect was 
Montrose's organisation of scouts, or so perfect Leslie's 
organisation for intercepting them, that he was that 
night posted within six miles of the doomed army. 
Montrose was writing despatches to the king through 
the night and into the morning, when he heard firing. 
He galloped to his army in time to order a despairing 
resistance. Mist favoured the assailants ; and Avhile a 
large body of horse charged from the Selkirk side, an- 
other band wound round by the spurs of the hills to 
attack the enemy from the west. All that Montrose's 
generalship could achieve was to retreat with a small 
portion of his force. It has been indignantly charged 
against the victors, that they put all their prisoners to 
death. The charge is likely to be true ; for they were 
either Highland or Irish, and it was the custom so 
to treat the descendants of the old Scottish race, on 
whichever side of the Channel they resided. 

Montrose made arduous efforts to reconstruct his 
army, but in vain. It had consisted of a class who 
eminently require success to keep them in a fitting 
state of ardour for the field. He had to abandon all 
his efforts and leave the country, when the king put 
himself into the hands of the Covenanters. Such was 
the career of IMontrose, covering a yeav and twelve 
days. Of him it cannot be said that he suffered from 
oblivion, like the heroes before Agamemnon. Per- 

1 A small obelisk marks the centre of the field. It contains the 
following inscription, curious as a piece of peculiar literature : " To the 
memory of the Covenanters who fought and fell on the field of Philip- 
haugh, and won the battle there, a.d. September 13, 1645." 


haps no military career has ever had a literary com- 
memoration so disproportioned to its length and fruit- 
fulness. The successive tributes to liis memory were 
begun by his chaplain Wishart, who told his career in 
Latin for the benefit of the learned world, while it was 
translated into the vernacular for home use. It was 
his fortune or his fate that his memory, as a chivalrous 
hero, was the object of devotion to a party; and the 
commander, who was defeated on the only occasion 
when he met face to face with another commander of 
repute, had to be maintained as high up in the temple 
of fame as the greatest warriors in the world's history. 
For the literature devoted to such causes there are 
many allowances to be made ; and the sj)irit that per- 
vades it will meet a kindly appreciation by all who 
peruse the latest tributes heaped on the memory of 
Montrose by one allied to him in blood, and himself a 
chivalrous member of a chivalrous house. The secret 
of the interest we all take in such literature, whether 
it is on our own side or not, is something akin to 
that which we take in the warm unselfish attachments 
where, right or wrong, the man stands by his friend. 

CijarUs E 
















CoNTEMPOEANEOUSLY with these stirring events, much 
interest was felt in Scothmcl in the deliberations of a 
community of grave and reverend persons assembled 
in England. The sayings and doings of the Assembly 
of Divines at Westminster deserve a fuller and closer 
history than they have yet obtained. There is no in- 
tention of supplying the deficiency here, since that 


institution belongs to the whole empire, or if it is to 
be told in connection with a part of it, it belongs to 
England.^ Some reference to its influence, however, 
belongs to Scotland ; for this influence existed long 
after its laws and institutions had ceased to be an 
element in the constitution of Church and State in 
England. Indeed, what the "Westminster Assembly 
enjoined is still matter of living practice and discus- 
sion through all but a small portion of ecclesiastical 

The Assembly was constituted by an ordinance of 
the Lords and Commons of England on the 12th of 
June 1643. Finding the existing Church government 
by bishops and other gxacles to be pernicious, it is re- 
solved " that the same shall be taken away, and that 

' "We have two books, each containing, at considerable length, a nar- 
rative of some of the debates and transactions of the Assembly during 
a portion of their long session. The one is, ' Notes of the Debates and 
Proceedings of the Assembly of Divines and other Commissioners at 
Westminster,' by George Gillespie, a celebrated minister, often referred 
to in our narrative. To those not practically engaged in polemics or 
Biblical criticism, this is the driest of all reading. It condenses, and 
with considerable skill, the purport of long wordy debates, giving their 
very essence in hard criticism on the Scriptures in the original Greek 
and Hebrew, as lending support to either side in the controversies about 
articles of belief and of Church government. The whole is here and 
there illuminated by a meteoric contribution from the brilliant scholar- 
ship of Selden. It was printed from the original manuscript in 1846, as 
part of a collection called ' The Presbyterian's Armoury.' 

The other book is the ' Journal of the Assemljly of Divines,' by Dr 
John Lightfoot. It makes the thirteenth and last volume of the edition 
of his Tvorks printed in 1822-25. This affords us a closer view of the in- 
cidents of the debate and the individuality of the speakers than the 
other. Thus : — 

" Then fell we upon another point or clause — viz., ' It belongeth to 
the pastor's office to pray with and for his people.' 

" Here Mr Herrick urged that it should be expressed, ' That it is the 
pastor's office also to curse upon occasion ;' but this was waived for the 
l)resent." — P. 45. 


such a government shall be settled in the Church as 
may be most agreeable to God's holy Word, and most 
apt to procure and preserve the peace of the Church at 
home, and nearer agreement with the Church of Scot- 
land, and other Eeformed Churches abroad. And for 
the better effecting hereof, and for the vindicating and 
clearing of the doctrine of the Church of England from 
all false calumnies and aspersions, it is thought fit and 
necessary to call an Assembly of learned, godly, and 
judicious divines, to consult and advise of such matters 
and things touching the premises as shall be proposed 
to them by both or either of the Houses of Parliament, 
and to give their advice and counsel therein to both or 
either of the said Houses, when and as often as they 
shall be thereunto required." 

The members of this Assembly w^ere not left to se- 

So when Selden, as was his wont, would upset a whole fabric of debate 
by showing that it proceeded on some ignorance of law or of Hebrew : — 

" Mr Selden. — ' By the laws of England none can ordain but only a 
bishop with some presbyters ' " (then a citation of authorities). 

"'And whereas our Covenant swears out the 7-er/imcn ecclesice, this that 
we have in hand is not regimen ecclesice; and we have sworn to preserve 
the laws of the kingdom, of which this is one.' 

" This speech cost a great deal of debate, and had many answers given 
it ; and, among other things, Mr Henderson, and the Lord Mackland 
[Maitland] after him, took it to heart, and expressed their resentment of 
it, that there had been too much boldness with the Covenant."' — P. 121. 

On the question of the presence of the people at excommunication, 
" Sir Archibald Johnston gave this example, that a murderer in Scot- 
land is by law to be executed between sun and sun in an open market- 
place, coram populo. Yet this tieth not the people to any interest in 
his execution, nor tieth him so to be present — and so is it with this 
case."— P. 139. 

On 29th January 1644 we have a debate, " with great heat," about the 
power of the civil magistrate in matters ecclesiastic, Gillespie fighting 
with Nye, when the Lord Maitland stood up and " related the news 
of the Scots now being in the kingdom ; that they marched in on that 
day that the public thanksgiving was at Christ's Chxrrch, and that on 
AVednesday last they were within seven miles of Alnwick."— P. 130. 


lection through any ecclesiastical organisation. They 
were named by Parliament. They consisted of ten 
Peers and twenty members of the Commons as lay 
assessors, and a hundred and twenty-one clergymen. 
The constitution of the body was shifted from time to 
time, according to the rate of attendance and other in- 
cidents ; but Parliament never quitted a firm hold on 
its constitution and power. The Prolocutor or presi- 
dent, Dr Twiss, was named by Parliament ; and when 
difficidties and disputes arose, they were to be referred 
to Parliament. By the same authority, certain com- 
missioners for Scotland were invited to attend the dis- 
cussions. There were from the clergy, Baillie, Hen- 
derson, Eutherford, and Gillespie — all men with gifts 
that might make them remarkable in any intellectual 
arena. Robert Douglas, the reputed grandson of 
Queen Mary, was named as a fifth, but he never at- 
tended. For the lay elders there was the redoubted 
Johnston of Warriston, the most able and zealous of a 
group of lay statesmen — they were not in all, perhaps, 
above three or four — who were as thorough wai'riors in 
the ecclesiastical department of the great struggle as the 
clergy themselves. Along with him were Lord Cassilis 
and Lord Maitland, in later times more renowned 
than illustrious as Duke of Lauderdale. There were 
afterwards added Argyle, Balmerinoch, and Loudon, 
with Robert Mcldrum and George Winram. These, 
with all others there present, were under the control 
of the Parliament. In Baillie's slightly indignant 
words, " Here no mortal man may enter to see or 
hear without ane order in wryte from both Houses of 
Parliament ; " ^ and in acknowledging a comforting 

' Letters, ii. 107. 


assurance from ecclesiastical sympathisers in Holland, 
he says : " As for returning an answer, they have no 
power to write one line to any soul but as the Parlia- 
ment directs, neither may they importune the Parlia- 
ment for warrants to keep foreign correspondence." ^ 
There can be no doubt that the organising of this As- 
sembly was a Avise act. It may be cjuestioned if ever 
a large deliberative body acted with the sagacity 
that predominated on this and other occasions in the 
Long Parliament. The country was all on fire with 
religious fervour. The Parliament had grave and mo- 
mentous work before it, and it was well, if possible, 
that this work should be done without risk of intrusion 
by the elements of religious contention. It would be 
wise to have all this perilous matter cleared away and 
removed into a safe place. The invitation to the various 
zealots virtually was : You will be free to open up all 
the outlets of talk and discussion ; nay, you shall exer- 
cise your powers in all honourable distinction, and with 
every facility and appliance for exciting and protract- 
ing discussion, provided you take it all to a place apart, 
and leave us unmolested to discuss our civil business. 
The arrangement was accomplished with a dexter- 
ous subordination of the ecclesiastical to the civil au- 
thority. The hand of the State was laid on it all with 
such firm precision, that no movement for the estab- 
lishment of a separate s]Diritual power was practicable ; 
and this was done in a shape admitting no ground for 
complaint. No power of any existing institution was 
usurped. It was a voluntary assembling. None were 
bound to attend whose conscience revolted at the 
authority assumed by the Parliament — these might 

1 Letters, ii. 186. 


remain at home for conscience' sake, and some did so. 
Still it was safe to calculate on Churchmen being 
influenced by the seductive charms of debate. The 
attraction would strengthen day by day as the 
wordy war went on, and small scruples would be for- 
o'otten. So it Avas ; although a few were able to ab- 
stain, the centre of debate aggregated to it enough of 
the inflammable material to leave the Parliament in 
safety. The members of the Assembly, indeed, held 
meeting after meeting with a growing enthusiasm, the 
reflection of which may be found in the picturesc[ue 
opening scene from the pen of our old friend Baillie. 
It will be seen from this description how completely 
the order of business in the Assembly was modelled 
on the forms of the Enoiish House of Commons — a 
system marvellously beautiful and com];)lete, and for 
compelling a numerous assembly to act with freedom 
and order, beyond all comparison the finest organi- 
sation that human genius has accomplished. The 
description is the more clear, that it was made by 
one who had been trained in another school, and 
especially noticed the matters in which the two 
difli'ered from each other. He could not but see and 
acknowledge the merits of the English system ; yet 
we find him longing somewhat for the impetuous 
action of his own people, when he says : " They follow 
the way of their Parliament. Much of their way is 
good, and worthy of our imitation, only their long- 
someness is woeful at this time, when their Church 
and kingdom lies under a most lamentable anarchy 
and confusion." 

" The like of this Assembly I did never see, and, 
as we hear say, the like was never in England, nor 


anywhere is shortly like to be. They did sit in 
Henry the VII. 's Chapel, in the place of the convo- 
cation ; but since the weather grew cold, they did go 
to Jerusalem Chamber, a fair room in the Abbey of 
Westminster, about the bounds of the college forehall, 
but wider. At the ane end nearest the door, and 
both sides, are stages of seats as in the new Assem- 
bly House at Edinburgh; but not so high, for there 
will be room but for five or six score. At the 
upmost end there is a chair set on a frame, a foot 
from the earth, for the Mr Proloqutor, Dr Twisse. 
Before it on the ground stands two chairs for the two 
Mr Assessors, Dr Burgess and Mr Whyte. Before 
these two chairs, through the length of the room, 
stands a table, at which sits the two scribes, Mr 
Byfield and Mr Roborough. The house is all well 
hung, and has a good fire, which is some dainties at 
London. Foranent the table, upon the proloqutor's 
right hand, there are three or four ranks of forms. On 
the lowest we five do sit. Upon the other, at our 
backs, the members of Parliament deputed to the 
Assembly. On the forms foranent us, on the pro- 
loqutor's left hand, going from the upper end of the 
house to the chimney, and at the other end of the 
house, and backside of the table, till it come about to 
our seats, are four or five stages of forms, whereupon 
their divines sit as they please, albeit commonly they 
keep the same place. From the chimney to the door 
there is no seats, but a void for passage. The Lords of 
Parliament used to sit on chairs, in that void, about 
the fire. We meet every day of the week but Satur- 
day. We sit commonly from nine to one or two 
afternoon. The proloqutor at the beginning and end 


has a short prayer. The man, as the world knows, is 
very learned in the questions he has studied, and very 
good, beloved of all, and highly esteemed ; but merely 
bookish, and not much, as it seems, acquaint wath con- 
ceived prayer, and among the unfittest of all the com- 
pany for any action ; so after the prayer he sits mute. 
It was the canny convoyanee of these who guides 
most matters for their own interest to plant such a 
man of purpose in the chair. The one assessor, our 
good friend Mr Whyte, has kept in of the gout since 
our coming ; the other, Dr Burgess, a very active and 
sharp man, supplies, so far as is decent, the proloqu- 
tor's place. Ordinarily there will be present above 
threescore of their divines. These are divided in three 
committees, in ane whereof every man is a member. 
No man is excluded who pleases to come to any of 
the three. Every committee, as the Parliament gives 
order in write to take any purpose to consideration, 
takes a portion, and in their afternoon meeting pre- 
pares matters for the Assembly, sets down their mind 
in distinct propositions, backs their propositions wdth 
texts of Scripture. After the prayer, Mr Byfield the 
scribe reads the proposition and Scriptures, whereupon 
the Assembly debates in a most grave and orderly 
way. No man is called up to speak ; but who stands 
up of his own accord, he speaks so long as he will 
without interruption. If two or three stand uj) at 
once, then the divines confusedly call on his name 
whom they desire to hear first : on whom the loudest 
and most voices call, he speaks. No man speaks to 
any but to the proloqutor. They harangue long and 
very learnedly. They study the questions well before- 
hand, and prepare their speeches ; but withal the men 


are exceeding prompt, and well spoken. I do marvel 
at the very accurate and extemporal replies that many 
of them usually do make. When upon every propo- 
sition by itself, and on every text of Scripture that is 
brought to confirm it, every man who will has said his 
whole mind, and the replies and duplies and triplies 
are heard, then the most part calls, 'To the question.' 
Byfield the scribe rises from the table and comes to 
the proloqutor's chair, who from the scribe's book 
reads the proposition, and says, 'As many as are in 
opinion that the question is well stated in the proposi- 
tion, let them say I.' When 'I' is heard, he says, 'As 
many as think otherwise, say No.' If the difference of 
I's and No's be clear, as usually it is, then the question 
is ordered by the scribes, and they go on to debate 
the first Scripture alleged for proof of the proposition. 
If the sound of ' I ' and ' No ' be near equal, then says 
the proloqutor, 'As many as say I, stand up.' While 
they stand, the scribe and others number them in 
their mind; when they sit down, the No's are bidden, 
and they likewise are numbered. This way is clear 
enough, and saves a great deal of time, which we 
spend in reading our catalogue. When a question is 
once ordered, there is no more debate of that matter ; 
but if a man will vaige, be is quickly taken up by Mr 
Assessor, or many others, confusedly crying, 'Speak to 
order, to order.' No man contradicts another expressly 
by name, but most discreetly speaks to the proloqu- 
tor, and at most holds on the general — the reverend 
brother, who lately or last spoke, on this hand, on that 
side, above, or below." ^ 

With the Scots the most interesting business of this 

1 Letters, &c., ii. 107-109. 


Assembly was the Covenant, and it was among the 
first to claim attention. AVe have this account of the 
sittino- ou the 8th of August 1643 : — 

" The Parliament recommended the Covenant to 
the Assembly to take into consideration the lawful- 
ness of it. The first article of it held us all the day, 
for we sat till within night. This clause bred all the 
doubting, ' I will endeavour the preservation of the 
true Reformed Protestant religion in the Church of 
Scotland, in doctrine, discipline, worship, and govern- 
ment, according to the Word of God.' It was scrupled 
whether the last words, ' according to the Word of 
God,' were set for limitation — viz., to preserve it as far 
as it was according to the Word, — or for approbation 
— viz., as concluding that the Scotch discipline was 
undoubtedly according to the Word. Therefore, after 
a day's debate almost, it was resolved that this expla- 
nation should be annexed to it, 'As far as in my 
conscience I shall conceive it to be according to the 
Word of God.' This was concluded about five o'clock 

" Then fell we upon the second article of it, ' That 
without respect of persons, I will endeavour, accord- 
ing to my calling, to extirpate Popery, prelacy, heresy, 
schism,' &c. ; when Dr Burgess, who had been excep- 
tions of all others all the day against the first article, 
began again to cavil about this clause, ' Without re- 
spect of persons to extirpate Popery ' — it being a very 
nice business to know what Popery is, and what is 
meant by extirpation, and I know not what — which 
gave occasion to others to take the same exceptions, 
and so hold long debates ; and it was very clear that 
we had parted and gone home unresolved of the matter, 


but at last we brought it to the vote that the words 
were fit to stand as they were. 

" Tuesday, August 29, Ave fell upon these words, 
' prelacy, superstition, heresy, schism,' &c. ; and Dr 
Burgess began again to except every one of the words 
as doubtful — especially the word 'prelacy' was thought 
by others to be too doubtful, therefore the explana- 
tion of it was concluded on, ' the government by 
archbishops, bishops,' &c. ; and about noon, with much 
ado and great retarding, we had finished the second 
article, and the Assembly adjourned till afternoon. 

" In the afternoon the rest of the Covenant was 
despatched with much ado; for Dr Burgess continued 
in his captiousness, and retarded as much as possibly 
he could. In fine, it was concluded upon and ordered 
that the Assembly should on Thursday morning, by 
their prolocutor, they attending him to the House of 
Commons, huml^ly present their advice to the Parlia- 
ment, that in point of conscience the Covenant may 
lawfully be taken Avith those explanations which are 
foremen tioned." ^ 

To the Scottish Covenanters the calling of this 
Assembly, and the adoption of the Solemn League and 
Covenant as revised by it, were rapidly bringing on 
the consummation of that great scheme of Divine Pro- 
vidence destined to establish the Presbyterian polity 
over all mankind. The government of the Church by 
a General Assembly, Synods, Presbyteries, and Kirk- 
sessions, was the divine form of Church government, 
and all others must dissolve before it. Here had 
been completed a great step — England and Ireland 
had been cleansed of the Popish and prelatic rubbish 

1 Journal of the AsseniLly of Divines ; Lightfoot's Works, xiii. 1 1. 


left at the Reformation, and were immediately to be 
united to Scotland in one Presbyterian community. 
The English Presbyterians — a large body with many 
learned ministers among them — indulged themselves 
in the same conclusion. 

The Parliament, however, had other views, and 
skilfully prepared for the consummation. There 
lurked at that time, in the class of men who made the 
Parliament and the influential circles, a disinclination 
to reconstruct any strong priesthood. Some were 
influenced by religious motives, others by political ; 
but their general temper was, that as the keys of St 
Peter had been thrown down in the late scuffle, they 
were not to be picked up again by the nearest hand. 
Accordingly the personal structure of the Assembly 
placed within it elements of opposition which had an 
appearance of impartiality, but were of course infinitely 
provoking to those who demanded supremacy. 

The Brownists, Independents, or Congregationalists, 
were a large body in England, and had been growing, 
even in Scotland, too rapidly for the peace of the Cove- 
nanting party. Their principle was, that there should 
be no combined system of Church government, 
whether prelatic or Presbyterian, but that each Chris- 
tian congregation should be a Church in itself It 
was a system that seemed to embody the very ab- 
stract spirit of toleration, by bringing the power of 
ecclesiastical tyi'anny down to absolute zero. So it 
seemed in Britain, where the Independents were 
driven to the policy of self-defence ; but they became 
very sufficient ecclesiastical tyrants on their own 
ground in New England, where they dutifully hanged 
every man who wore a broad-brimmed hat, or used 

ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES, 1644-46. 211 

the personal pronoun in an antiquated fashion.^ 
These men were not powerful in organisation for 
constructive purposes, for that was not their mission, 
or the tenor of the polity sought by them ; but they 
were very useful for the purpose for which they had 
been placed in the Assembly — the interruption of 
the constructive work of others. 

The Independents were but a small party in the 
Assembly — it might have given alarm to have in- 
creased their number. They were there, indeed, just 
as Episcopalians and some representatives of peculiar 
sects were there — that they might be heard for their 
respective causes. They were to be tolerated in 
debate, as it is said the present House of Commons 
will tolerate any speaker who, however offensive his 
opinions may be to the House, represents any con- 
siderable body of British subjects, or any important 
national interest. Among the Independents, however, 
were men whose genius and zeal made them j)owerful 
in debate and troublesome in expedients. Five of 
the most eminent of these — Nye, Bridge, Boroughs, 

' Baillie, mentioning an instance where some preachers of false doc- 
trine in New England narrowly escaped death and were sentenced to 
slavery, puts the difference aptly enough : " The Independents here, 
finding they have not the magistrate so obsequious as in New England, 
turns their pens, as you will see, &c., to take from the magistrate all 
power of taking any coercive order with the vilest heretics." — Letters, 
ii. 1 84. The case of New England, however, was very peculiar. The 
colonists had not only gone there for freedom of conscience, but had 
sought the wilderness to be free from the contaminating presence of 
the unholy. When, therefore, they were intruded on there, and espe- 
cially by those who did so systematically and to give offence, this was 
akin to persecution. The Quakers, by sedulous cultivation, had reached 
a marvellous advancement in the art of provocation ; and when they 
heard of a place where the heterodox were hotly persecuted, they con- 
cluded that such was the spot whither they were constrained to go and 
lift up their testimony. 


Goodwin, and Sympson — were ever spoken of as " the 
five dissenting brethren," when the Pi-esl)yterians be- 
wailed the troubles tlicy had to endure in the West- 
minster Assembly. 

Another element of interruption was carefully 
planted in this Assembly in the body called in Pres- 
byterian language " Erastians." They belonged to a 
wide range of opinions, the term being applied to all 
those who, whether they desired to support a Chris- 
tian Church or not, would not admit that in its out- 
ward form and government it was a divine institution 
endowed with powers independent of the State. 
They consisted in great measure of what Baillie 
calls " worldly profane men, who were extremely 
affrighted to come under the yoke of ecclesiastical 
discipline." The working majority of the English 
Parliament was Erastian. Hence it supported the 
Independent party, as less mischievous than the Pres- 
byterian. At the same time it sent into the Assembly 
a portion of itself — a small body, but infinitely pow- 
erful in intellect. It contained Whitelocke and Sir 
Harry Vane, but greatest of all, Selden. He knew 
more of the history, jjractice, and law of the Christian 
Church in all parts of the world, than all the rest 
of the Assembly. He had the power which such 
knowledge confers ; and when precedent was appealed 
to, as it could not but be, and that frequently and 
vehemently, he was absolute lord of the debate. 

In the midst of these opposing forces the Scots 
commissioners did their part with great address. 
The Assembly having been constructed entirely by 
the English Parliament, had no authority in Scot- 
land. The Scots were invited to sit as members with 

ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES, 1644-46. 213 

votes ; but this honour they very wisely declined — in 
any vote taken they would be only as one to fifteen. 
They took the position of representatives of the 
Church of Scotland, and in attendance in London was 
a considerable committee from their own Estates at 
home to instruct and support them. Thus they held 
the position of ambassadors from one supreme power 
to another. They might, as representing Scotland, 
give up any point to the Assembly ; but their country 
could not be compromised by the resolutions of that 
body. There was great ability in the small group of 
Scots commissioners. "Warriston could not cope with 
Selden in knowledge about the practice of the Jews 
or the early Christian Church ; but he had gone 
through great practice as an ecclesiastical lawyer; and 
as the custodier of the records of the Kirk, he knew 
things that no general scholar had the means of know- 
ing. Henderson and G-illespie were men of genius and 
great eloquence, Avho obtained a high celebrity not 
only at home but in England as popular preachers. 
Baillie was not only a gTcat scholar, but endowed 
with a potent genius for diplomacy. We have seen 
that he was a thorough Presbyterian enthusiast ; but 
though he saw that God was working for the estab- 
lishment of the Presbyterian organisation all over the 
world, he felt that the policy and ability of man was 
one of the instruments by which it was foreordained 
that this consummation was to be carried. 

The Independents and many of the " Sectaries " 
were with them in points of pure doctrine, and there 
was a prospect that in the matter of forms of worship 
there might be a reasonable compromise. The great 
point of difference was Church government, and this 

2 14 CHARLES I. 

it was the great object of the Scots commissioners to 
defer until the hand of Providence should improve 
their position for enforcing that Presbyterian organ- 
isation which was of divine right. On the question 
of lay eldership we find Baillie saying : " This is a 
point of high consequence, and upon no other we 
expect so great difficulty, except alone on Indepen- 
dency ; wherewith we purpose not to meddle in haste 
till it please God to advance our army, which we 
expect will much assist our arguments. " And again : 
" The Independents, being most able men and of 
great credit, fearing no less than banishment from their 
native country if presbyteries were erected, are watch- 
ful that no conclusion be taken for their prejudice. 
It was my advice — which Mr Henderson presently 
applauded and gave me thanks for it — to eschew a 
public rupture with the Independents till we were more 
able for them. As yet a presbytery to these people is 
conceived to be a strange monster. It was our good, 
therefore, to go on hand in hand so far as we did 
agree against the common enemy, hoping that in our 
difi'erences, when we behoved to come to them, God 
would give us light. In the mean time we would 
essay to agree upon the Directory of Worship, wherein 
we expected no small help from these men to abolish 
the great idol of England — the Service-book — and to 
erect in all the parts of worship a full conformity to 
Scotland in all things worthy to be spoken of." ^ 

In any difference with the English Presbyterians 
the Scots commissioners were strong, and they knew 
how to use their strength. If it Avas the Presbyterian 
order of Church government that these English desired 

1 Letters, ii. Ill, 117. 

ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES, 1644-46. 215 

really to have, then in Scotland they would find it in 
all its fair proportions. There it had long been elabo- 
rated and worked out — all objections sifted, all defects 
removed. It was not as if they came forward with 
general principles to be resolved into practical detail 
by debate. No morsel of the system could now be 
counted an open question. To differ from any part 
of it was to censure and attack their brethren of the 
Church of Scotland. Although the English Presby- 
terians felt and admitted the strength of this posi- 
tion, it was nought to the Independents. These, 
though few in number, were watchful, and provok- 
ingly untiring in debate. The majority were ever 
caught up by them in such manner as the following : 
" We were next settling on the manner of the prayer 
— if it were good to have two prayers before sermon, 
as we use, or but one, as they use ; if in that first 
prayer it were mete to take in the king, Church, and 
sick, as they do, or leave those to the last prayer, as 
we. While we were sweetly debating on these things 
in came Mr Goodwin, who incontinent essayed to turn 
all upside down, to reason against all directories, and 
our very first grounds ; also, that all prefacing was 
unlawful."^ And in the midst of such minute separ- 
ate provocations the much-enduring chronicler bursts 
occasionally into a loud general wail, such as this : "In 
this long anarchy the sectaries and heretics increase 
marvellously. Yet we are hopeful, if God might help 
us, to have our presbyteries erected as we expect 
shortly to have them, and get the chief of the Inde- 
pendents to join with us in our practical conclusions, 
as we are much labouring for it, and are not yet out 

1 Baillie's Letters, ii. 123. 


of hope — we trust to win about all the rest of this wild 
and enormous people. However, for the time, the 
confusions al)out religion are very great and remedi- 
less." 1 

The Presyterians were desirous to have the Inde- 
pendents with them, but in the end were strong 
enough in the Assembly far to outvote them. " Truly," 
says the same chronicler, " if the cause were good, 
the men have plenty of learning, wit, eloquence, and, 
above all, boldness and stiffness, to make it out ; but 
when they had wearied themselves and overwearied 
us all, we found the most they had to say against the 
presbytery was but curious idle niceties ; yea, that 
all they could bring was no ways concluding. Every 
one of their arguments, when it had been pressed to 
the full in one whole session, and sometimes in two 
or three, was voyced, and found to be light unani- 
mously by all but themselves." ^ 

No other conclusion could have been anticipated, 
and it is creditable to Baillie's taste that it is so cour- 
teously expressed. Perhajjs, too, it may be counted 
creditable to the overwhelming majority that they 
heard the minority so patiently. The victory, how- 
ever, was of little avail ; for adverse influences were 
waxing strong in the power that would control the 
Assembly. When the first propositions went up 
from the Assembly to Parliament, the Independents 
published a renowned appeal, called the " Apologetical 
Narration," which helped mightily to increase the 
growing disinclination towards the re-establishment 
of any organised Church. Parliament had much to 
do, and kept the Assembly hanging on in expectation 

1 Baillie's Letters, ii. 172. -' Ibid., 14.5. 

ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES, 1644-46. 217 

of a concurrence in its proceedings. On the matter 
of a Directory of Worship the Houses did not trouble 
themselves. A formula of ordination was altered by 
them ; but on the indignant remonstrance of the As- 
sembly the alterations Avere withdrawn. Parliament 
would not quarrel Avith the clergy on a matter which 
almost entirely concerned themselves. But when an 
organisation was sent up for carrying into eftect, by 
discipline over the laity and otherwise, the divine 
right of Presbyterian Church government, it en- 
countered a cj^uiet but very obdurate resistance. The 
Parliament did not so much object to the organisation 
itself, as to the source from which its power was to 
come, as shortly defined to them in the proposition 
that " the Lord Jesus, as King and Head of His 
Church, hath therein appointed a government in 
the hand of Church officers distinct from the civil 
magistrate." The Parliament were ready to concede 
the greater part of the organisation proposed, pro- 
vided the two Houses took the place of " King and 
Head of the Church," so as to be able to alter the 
organisation from time to time if it did not work to 
their satisfaction. After much cavilling the two 
Houses uttered their celebrated " ordinance for settling 
of Church government" of 14th March 1646. It 
began with pious invocations and devout thanks for 
assistance from above, with a sanctimonious prolix- 
ity rarely exceeded in the utterances of professional 
divines. Coming to the practical part, it began with 
much promise : " By the merciful assistance of God, 
having removed the Book of Common Prayer, with 
all its unnecessary and burdensome ceremonies, and 
established the Directory in the room thereof; and 


having abolished the prelatical hierarchy of archbishops, 
bishops, and their dependants, and instead thereof 
laid the foundation of a presbyterial government in 
every congregation, with subordination to classical, 
provincial, and national assemblies." So far well ; but 
the few words in which the clause came to an end 
told the Covenanters that the power so temptingly 
described was not for them. The words following on 
the subordination to three grades of assemblies were 
simply, "And of them all to the Parliament." This 
ordinance, containing twenty-three articles or sections, 
completed a previous oi-dinance for the establishment 
of discipline, and especially for excluding persons 
convicted of scandalous crimes from ecclesiastical 
privileges. It carried its offence on its forehead by 
declaring its object to be "the avoiding, as far as 
possibly may be, all arbitrary power ; and that all 
such cases wherein persons should be suspended from 
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper should be brought 
to the cognisance and pass the judgment of the 
Parliament." It was felt desirable to arrange, " with- 
out having recourse to the Parliament itself from all 
parts of the kingdom, upon every such emergent case, 
which might prove troublesome and tedious." Elder- 
ships, therefore, were to be elected by congregations, 
under the supervision of the Parliamentary " Tryers of 
Election of Elders." The scandalous offences on which 
these elders should in the first instance judge Avere 
closely defined by Parliament ; and it Avas provided 
that " in every province persons shall be chosen by 
the Houses of Parliament that shall be commissioners 
to judge of scandalous offences not enumerated in 
any ordinance of Parliament." Over all these was an 

ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES, 1644-46. 219 

ultimate recourse to Parliament, should there be in- 
sufficiency or tyranny in this organisation.^ When 
that mighty tribunal thus undertook to manage the 
parochial affairs of every parish, and to superintend 
its kirk-session work, the Presbyterian party must 
have seen, if they did not sooner discover, that the 
predominant party in the two Houses were treating 
them with solemn mockery. 

When they broke forth into vehement remon- 
strances the Houses treated them Avith decorum, and 
were to hear them at full length. After a Parliamen- 
tary fashion, with something of a sarcastic formality, 
certain queries were put to them touching the nature 
of the Headship and the evidence or title-deeds of its 
existence. They were such queries as the Houses 
might put, in an inquiry into the origin of a fran- 
chise, or the charter and constitution of a corporation. 
There were nine of these queries ; but perhaps the 
three first in order may suffice to show their char- 
acter : — 

" 1. Whether the parochial and congregational or 
presbyterial elderships a,vejure divino, and by the will 
and appointment of Jesus Christ ; and whether any 
particular Church government be jure divino, and 
what that government is 1 

" 2. Whether all the members of the said elderships, 
as members thereof, or which of them, are jure divino, 
and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ ? 

" 3. Whether the superior assemblies or elderships 
— viz., the classical, provincial, and national — whether 
all or any of them, and which of them, are jure divino, 
and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ 1 " 

1 Pari. Hist, iii. 443-49. 


That there might be no opportunity for sweeping 
these questions and their particuLirities away in vague 
decLamatiou, the Houses, besides requiring that to each 
answer the Scriptural evidence should be set forth, 
ordered that "every minister present at the debate of 
any of these questions do, upon every resolution that 
shall be presented to the flouse concerning the same, 
subscribe his name, either with the affirmative or nega- 
tive, as he gives his vote ; and that those who dissent 
from the major part shall set down their positive 
opinion, with the express texts of Scripture on which 
they are grounded."^ 

If the Houses expected a literal compliance with 
these instructions, they were certainly rearing up a 
portentous report for their own perusal and consider- 
ation. But the order had naturally the effect rather 
of extinguishing than promoting the organising la- 
bours of the Assembly. It was with heavy hearts that 
those commissioners from the Scots Covenanters, who 
had seen so brilliant a dawn rise on the Westminster 
Assembly, beheld and felt these things. With all 
their determined fatalism, it must ere this time have 
been growing clear to them that they were not des- 
tined to establish a Presbyterian rule over the British 
dominions. In three years there had come a change. 
AVhen all England was a great camp, and all its men 
becoming soldiers, the Scots army, much diminished, 
was no longer of vital moment in the struggle. The 
Long Parliament had the divines of the Independent 
party to conciliate, and, what was more serious, their 
soldiers, and Cromwell, their favourite general. An 
ephemeral presbytery existed in London, and there 

1 Pari. Hist, iii. 463 464. 


were some others ; but when the Assembly died in 
1648, its mighty projects of Church government died 
with it. 

In other things, liowever, it left behind some fruits 
of its labours which have become both familiar and 
dear to the majoi'ity of the Scottish people. The 
Directory of Worship was carried through with much 
hax'mony before the vital quarrels began. We have 
seen that the old Prayer-book of Scotland and Geneva 
— the Book of Common Order — became popular among 
the early dissenters from the Church of England. 
After the lapse of seventy years, however, it seems to 
have been long foro-otten. The feelino- of the Puritans 
and the Independents was running strong against all 
set forms of prayer. It was now six years since the 
Service-book had been sent to Scotland to supersede 
the Book of Common Order. The latest known edi- 
tion of this book bears date in 1643, and it seems 
likely that the old affection for it had died off in the 
hot contest against Laud's Service-book, and the 
growing sympathy with the English Puritans. There 
seems to have been no attempt in the Assembly of 
Divines to keep it in existence ; but it was not ex- 
pressly condemned, and its use might have easily been 
accommodated to the injunctions of the Directory.^ 

' In the Britisli Museum there is a small ritual with the title, 'The 
New Booke of Common Prayer, according to the Forme of the Kirke of 
Scotland, our Brethren in Faith and Covenant. Printed by John Joness, 
1644.' It contains the greater part of the ordinary daily service in the 
Book of Common Order, and we may conjecture that it was offered to 
the Assembly as a compromise between the Scots Presbyterian Prayer- 
book and none. Whether it is to be found elsewhere or not, the follow- 
in" passage from this little book contains a subtle, but distinct, exposi- 
tion of the spirit in which translations of the Scriptures were accepted 
amonc many of the various religious communities who renounced Epis- 
copacy and the Church of England : " The highest degree and most an- 


Though the Book of Common Order got strong 
support when the question lay between it and Laud's 
Service-book, it lost rather than gained friends after 
that contest passed over. The Assembly of Divines 
offered a strong bribe to the Scots clergy to abandon 
it, since the English Book of Common Prayer — offen- 
sive as the foundation of the Service-book — was to go 
with it. The enforcement of the Directory of Public 
Worship in England and Ireland was more than com- 
pensation for the loss, if it was a loss, of the Scots 
Book of Common Order. But to the Scots divines 
the mortifying result of all was that they lost this 
compensation. Brownism or Independency, with its 
toleration, swept all away ; and the Directory was no 
more the absolute rule throughout the three kingdoms 
than the Book of Common Prayer was in England and 
the Book of Common Order in Scotland.^ 

nexeJ to the ministry anfl government of the Church is the exposition of 
God's word contained in the Okl and New Testament. But because men 
cannot so well profit in that knowledge except they be first instructed in 
the tongues and human sciences (for now worketh God not commonly T)y 
miracles), it is necessary that seed be sowed for the time to come, to the 
intent that the Church be not left barren and waste to our posterity ; and 
that schools also be erected and colleges maintained with just and suffi- 
cient stipends, wherein youth may be trained in the knowledge and fear 
of God, that in their ripe age they may prove worthy members of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, whether it be to rule in civil policy or to serve in the 
spiritual ministry, or else to live in godly reverence and subjection." On 
occasion when " the minister prayeth to God for the removing of some 
present trouble or otherwise, as the present occasion doth require. This 
done, the people sing a psalm altogether in a tune which all may under- 
stand, as it hath used to be done both in England and Scotland before 
sermon ; and whilst the said psalm is singing, the minister goeth up 
into the pulpit, as God shall move his heart, first begging assistance of 
God's Holy Spirit, and so proceedeth to the sermon." 

1 Samuel Rutherford, in his 'Free Disputation against pretended 
Liberty of Conscience,' p. 268, says: " It rejoiced the hearts of the godly 
in the three kingdoms, when the Houses passed an ordinance for the 
Directory of Public Worship to be used in all the three kingdom.?, and 


The Directory sets forth the order of worship and 
administration of Church ordinances. It gives the 
tenor of tlie prayers and other administrations spoken 
by the ministers ; but it differs from a ritual in so far 
as it gives the tenor only, not the words to be used. 
It appears to have been adjusted chiefly by Henderson 
and his brethren in Scotland, since both in arrange- 
ment and phraseology it has a decidedly close resem- 
blance to a pamphlet for the purpose of spreading 
through England information regarding the method 
of worship in the Church of Scotland.^ 

Among the rarities of collectors one may yet see a 
thin quarto called ' A Directory for the Public Worship 
of God throughout the three Kingdoms of England, 
Scotland, and Ireland.' But the practical end fell 
far short of this comprehensive promise. In the 
troubles of England the Directory was lost, and the 
Restoration brought back the old Prayer-book. It was 
not one of the works of the Assembly destined even to 

laid aside the Book of Common Prayers and burdensome ceremonies 
upon a resolution professed to the world, according to the Covenant, to 
reform religion according to the Word of God and the example of the 
Lest Reformed Churches, which was accordingly approved and ratified 
in the Parliament of Scotland. If we then turn back again from that 
iiniformity, what do we also but pull down and destroy what we have 
builded ? Especially since uniformity, which we sware to endeavour in 
our Covenant, is cried down by Familists and Antinomians, and all 
external worship and profession of Christ before men as indifferent, and 
all religion intrenched into only things of the mind and heart, upon a 
dream that the written Word of God is not our rule obliging us, but an 
inward law in the mind, beyond all ordinances, must regulate us now 
under the Gospel." These, as the reader will easily see, are not the 
words of an ignorant man indulging hot fanaticism. Rutherford was 
a learned divine ; and this .short passage — one of course selected from 
xaanj — may be taken as a good test of how the learned among the Scots 
Covenanters took the new rule that was to prevail in England. 

' This pamphlet has been already referred to. It is called 'The 
Government and Order of the Church of Scotland.' Edinburgh, 1641. 


liave much influence iu Scotland, where it has been 
and is nominally a rule. The tendency ever since 
Laud's Liturgy has been towards freedom from all 
directorial control. So slightly has the Directory been 
of late either obeyed or known, that when, on a recent 
occasion, a distinguished clergyman of the Church 
of Scotland was threatened with ecclesiastical punish- 
ment for indulging in certain innovations, it was dis- 
covered that the departures from the common practice 
which incurred this condemnation were restorations 
of the practice enjoined by the Directory. 

Scotland owes to the Assembly of Divines the 
psalmody which was sanctioned by the Established 
Church, and generally adopted by the other Presby- 
terian communities. The Psalter in the Book of 
Common Order seems to have consisted of such trans- 
lation of each psalm as the publisher chose. Always 
the greater part, and sometimes the whole, were taken 
from the version of Sternhold and Hopkins. We have 
seen that the revision of the Psalm-book had occa- 
sionally come up in the General Assembly of Scotland. 
In the Westminster Assembly it arose in the form of 
findina; a version of the Psalms which mio;ht be certified 
for use by the Churches of England, Scotland, and 
L'eland. The version of Sternhold and Hoj)kins was 
to be superseded ; it was perhaps a latent objection 
that it occupied a place in the Book of Common 
Prayer. The version attached to Laud's Scottish 
Service-book would have been drawn from a still 
more polluted fountain.^ 

' This Psalter is called on the title-page ' The Psalms of King David 
translated by King James.' They were in reality translated by the 
poet, Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling. 

SCOTTISH PSALTER, 1646-48. 225 

Two other Scottish versions claimed notice. One 
was by Sir William Muir of Rowallan.^ The other 
was by the notoiious Zachary Boyd. Zachary's writ- 
ings have often been cited as utterances of powerful 
buffoonery made when the unconscious author dreamed 
that he was solemn and impressive. It was common 
to that age, especially among the clergy, to become 
familiar and jocular with solemn things. Zachary 
went a step beyond his brethren in this propensity. 
Hence all the good things of the kind have been 
attributed to him, and have sometimes been exag- 
gerated to make them fit on to his reputation. His 
psalter was passed by, somewhat to his mortifica- 

The Assembly selected, as a fundamental draft of 
a psalter, a translation recently made by Francis Rous, 
a distinguished member of the Long Parliament, and 
a lay member of the Assembly. After discussion and 
criticism at much length, the divines passed the 
Psalter as amended by them, and sent it up for the 
approval of Parliament. There was a rival version by 
William Barton, befriended by some members of the 
House ; and the Assembly received an alarming de- 
mand, " to certify to this House why these psalms 
may not be sung in church as well as other transla- 

1 Sir William Muir's version does not appear to have ever been 
printed. Baillie, writing from tlie Assembly, says : " I wish I had Row- 
allan's Psalter here ; for I like it much better than any yet I have seen." 
— Letters, ii. 121. A specimen of this version will be found in 'The 
Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallan, by Sir William Miur,' 
note t, p. 133. 

^ " Our good friend Mr Zachary Boyd has put himself to a great deal 
of pains and charges to make a psalter ; but I ever warned him his 
hopes were groundless to get it received in our churches ; yet the flat- 
teries of his unadvised neighbours makes him insist in his fruitless 
design." — Baillie's Letters, iii, 3. 



tions by such as are willing to use tliem." The 
divines in solemn conclave apprehended "that if 
liberty should be given to people to sing in churches 
every one that translation which they desire, by 
that means several translations mio;ht come to be used 
— yea, in one and the same congregation at the same 
time, which would be a great distraction and hin- 
drance to edification." But Parliament finally ordered 
"that the Book of Psalms set forward by Mr Eous, and 
perused by the Assembly of Divines, be sung in all 
churches and chapels in the kingdom of England, do- 
minion of Wales, and town of Berwick-upon-Tweed." ^ 
This Psalter was authorised for Scotland by the 
General Assembly and the Commission of Estates in 
the beginning of the year 1650.^ Every one ac- 
quainted with Scotland knows how fervently the 
genius of the people, musical and religious, centred in 
this book of vocal praise. The work of Eous was 
familiar and beloved in every Presbyterian church 
and home ; but among names of any celebrity it would 
be difficult to find one less known among the people 
of Scotland than Francis Rous.^ 

^ Baillie's Letters, iii. 539. 

2 A very instructive account of the literature of Scottish psalmody 
will be found in " Notices regarding the Metrical Versions of the Psalms 
received by the Church of Scotland," in the appendix to Laing's edi- 
tion of BaUlie's Letters and Journals, iii. 525. 

^ There seem to have been contemporary reasons for keeping his name 
out of sight among the Scots Presbyterians. We find, before the com- 
plete adoption of this Psalter, BaUlie, in some perplexity, saying : " I 
have farthered that work ever with my best wishes ; but the scruple now 
arises of it in my mind — -the first author of the translation, ilr Eous, 
my good friend, has complied with the Sectaries, and is a member of the 
Republic. How a psalter of his framing, albeit with miich variation, 
shall be received by our Church, I do not well know ; yet it is needful 
we should have one, and a better in haste we cannot have." — Letters, 
&c., iii. 97. 


More eminently than either in the Directory or the 
Psalm-book, have the achievements of the Westminster 
Assembly been renowned in connection with religious 
life in Scotland. The fruit of a long process of intel- 
lectual toil and eager debate was their announcement 
of the Presbyterian faith of the British Islands in 
three forms. These were — 1. " The Confession of 
Faith ; " 2. " The Larger Catechism ;" 3. " The Shorter 
Catechism." These may be received as the final set- 
tlement and adjustment of those religious contests 
about the objects of which the reader has perhaps 
found more than enough in these pages. They are 
like the treaty of peace at the end of a war, going over 
with dry formality events which have had their day 
of exciting interest — a sort of document notably un- 
interesting to all but close investigators. The three 
form a code of doctrine, as to which it is held, by 
something akin to what the English sages call " a 
fiction of law," that every Scots Presbyterian believes 
all its positions — by a bolder fiction he is held to un- 
derstand them all. As to his means for legitimately 
accomplishing both ends, he knows, or has known, the 
Shorter Catechism, becavise he has had to commit it 
to memory at school. But a Scottish layman well 
grotmded in the Confession and the Larger Catechism 
is a rare being ; and it has been sometimes suspected 
that there are points in both of which some even of 
the clergy have not a familiar knowledge. It may 
be noticed that the Confession of Faith was the first 
announcement from authority of the books which 
were in Scotland to be counted the canonical Bible. 
Like England in the Thirty-nine Articles, Scotland 
adopted the old accepted canon, without of course 


referring to such a coincidence as an authority or a 
precedent. The Confession declares that the Scripture 
should be translated into the vulgar tongue, "that 
the AVord of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may 
Avorship Him in an acceptable manner, and through 
patience and comfort of the Scripture may have hope." 
No one version, however, is held as authorised. On 
the other hand, it is declared that the Old Testament 
in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek, "being 
immediately inspired by God, and by His care and 
providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore autlien- 
tical, so as in all controversies of religion the Church 
is finally to appeal unto them." 

It must always be I'emembered that these Acts and 
standards were not sent into Scotland for observance 
there by the authoiity of the Assembly of Divines. 
This institution was purely English. So far as Scot- 
land was concerned, they acted merely as draftsmen 
and councillors. The title prefixed to the Confession of 
Faith, and foUoAved in the other documents, announces 
the method of their transference to Scotland : " The 
Confession of Faith agreed upon by the Assembly 
of Divines at Westminster, examined and approved 
anno 1647 by the Church of Scotland, and ratified by 
Act of Parliament 1649." 

While these deliberations, from which Scotland was 
to inherit the chief permanent result, drew out their 
tedious length in the Jerusalem Chamber of St Steph- 
en's, the great events of the civil war were rapidly 
following each other. The separate events in which 
Scotland was concerned were few, and not pleasant to 
remember. As we have already seen, the Scots com- 
missioners added considerable weisfht to the charses 


which brought Laud to the block. Other men con- 
spicuous in enmity to the course taken by the Scots 
Estates were marked out for vengeance. The first 
of these was Sir John Gordon of Haddo, the house 
which afterwards became the earldom of Aberdeen. 
He was one of the leaders of the Gordons in the north ; 
and granting that hostility to the Estates was a 
crime — and they, having the supreme power for the 
time, had declared it so to be — it was easy to prove 
that he had done enough to justify any amount of 
punishment.^ He was tried by the Estates, and 
sentenced to death. On the 19th of July 1644 his 
head was struck off by " the Maiden " or guillotine. 
He was followed by Sir Eobert Spottiswood, 
Ogilvie of Inverquharity, who had been an active 
leader in the contest with Argyle, and five others of 
smaller note. The case of Sir Eobert Spottiswood was 
peculiar. He had not taken arms, and was to be dealt 
with as a treasonable statesman. He was charged 
with several acts hostile to the Estates ; and among 
these, as Secretary of State he had sealed and signed 
the commission " to James Graham, sometime Earl of 
Montrose, a declared and forfeited traitor and an ex- 
communicated person," appointing him, as lieutenant 
of the kingdom, to raise forces "against the king's 
majesty's good subjects, and against the forces raised 
and levied in arms by authority of the Estates of 
Parliament of this kingdom." ^ It was believed that 
his fate Avas somewhat in retaliation for his exertions 
in the condemnation of Balmerinoch in 1633. He 
was beheaded on the 16th of January 1646. 

1 See his indictment, Acts of Pari., vi. 21. 

2 State Trials, iv. 769. 


The Scots army in Eugiand could only be called an 
auxiliary force subject to the tactic of the great army 
at the nominal disposal of the English Parliament. 
Still the Scots kept apart under their own officers, 
carefully avoiding any surrender of their separate 
nationality. They were posted before Newark, wdien, 
on the morning of the 5th of May 1645, the king 
appeared within their lines. The great battle of 
Naseby had been fought. Many other calamities had 
crowded round his cause — he was besieged in Oxford, 
and when the place was taken he was at the mercy of 
his enemies. He would have gone to London, but a 
safe-conduct was refused to him — an assurance that 
the war was a war of life or death to each side. The 
king travelled in humble disguise with two attendants. 
It is said that when he came to Harrow-on-the-Hill 
he was yet uncertain where he should seek refuge, 
and " much perplexed what course to resolve upon 
— London or northward." ^ His dreary journey from 
Oxford to Newark, in Nottinghamshire, was eight 
days long. On his arrival he found Leven in com- 
mand, and Avas received by the old man with as 
much ceremonial and dutiful submission as the con- 
dition of a camp enabled him to display. It was 
remai'ked that in these courtesies the general gave up 
his sword, and that the king did not give it back, as 
Leven expected. To prevent the king from personally 
interfering with the discipline of his army, he found it 
expedient to give a strong hint that he was virtually 
commander there, though in humble duty to his 

There was a statement, for which there seems to be 

' Clarendon, 633. 


no foundation, that the king went to the Scots camp 
in terms of a treaty or arrangement. It seems, in fact, 
to have been, like many other acts of his, the result 
of a sudden idea, in the pursuit of which he deceived 
himself with the notion that he was pursuing a pro- 
fouud, or, as others held it to be, a perfidious policy. 

The Parliament required the Scots, Avhom they 
counted as a mercenary army in their service, to sur- 
render the king and the two men who had assisted 
him. The Scots declined to obey the requisition. 
They gave their august visitor a guard of honour, 
whose duty it was to protect his person and prevent 
him from escaping from the Scots camp as he had 
from Oxford. They moved northwards to Newcastle, 
which Avas virtually their own, in order that they 
might more effectually protect the king from his enemies 
and keep him to themselves. Perhaps no army ever 
held a deposit under the like conditions, and casuistry 
might have been let loose to defend or attack what- 
ever course the Scots selected for his disposal. 

During his abode with the Scots army in Newcastle 
he chose to devote his otherwise unoccupied time to a 
piece of Avork which seemed as capricious as his visit 
— a dispute with one of the Scots divines on the 
fundamental principles of Church government. He 
selected as his opponent Alexander Henderson. The 
controversy was unproductive, unless we are to be- 
lieve, with a class of writers now nearly extinct, that 
it brought the divine to a premature end. Hender- 
son no doubt died soon afterwards — on the 19th of 
August 1646". His death was attributed to remorse, 
whether at having ventured to contradict the Lord's 
anointed, or from his conscience telling him that the 


king spoke, like his father at the Hampton Court con- 
troversy, through special inspiration, and therefore that 
his own long-cherished Presbyterian opinions were 
false and perilous. It might be supposed that if con- 
tradicting and thwarting the poor king were among 
the natural causes of death, it must have caused ex- 
tensive mortality in that age. Yet in this instance 
the assertion took so much hold that Henderson's 
partisans and the General Assembly itself were much 
troubled in refuting it. 

Eenowned as this controversy is in history, it may 
be doubted if there are many people now alive who 
have read it through. It has little to excite atten- 
tion or interest. It belongs to that driest, most in- 
terminable, and least effective or conclusive of all 
theological contests — the dispute about the question 
whether the order of the primitive Church was 
Prelatic or Presbyterian. A small contribution to 
that dreary ocean of debate, it is unendowed with the 
virulence that confers a strong life on its surface here 
and there. It is not an earnest dispute. The king 
merely sought by an act of condescension to convert 
or disarm a powerful opponent. There is little in 
what he says to excite any feeling save a shade of 
compassion in seeing a haughty reserved spirit sub- 
mitting to so humiliating a task. He professes to 
desire the counsel and information of learned men 
for his guidance, and he singles out Henderson as a 
learned man. There is a foregone conclusion, however, 
that it is for himself to decide. He is like the judge 
who sits to hear counsel learned in the law, yet re- 
serves complete command over the final issue. 

Had his opponent been either Knox or Andrew 


Melville, the contest would have had a different as- 
pect. Challenged by a king to a formal dialectic 
tournament, either of them would have rushed to 
the battle with 

" The stern joy "vvhich ■warriors feel 
111 foemen worthy of their steel." 

But Henderson was of another kind. If it is true that 
he was, as some assert, though others deny, a worldly 
man at heart, he saw that royalty and prelacy were 
not to be the steps towards promotion. He is true 
throughout to his cause, and true without violence or 
arrogance. To his royal opponent he is respectful, but 
not servile. He uses moderately the opportunity of 
inflicting tediousness, which is so often the privilege 
of his class; and his contribution to the controversy is 
hardly twice the length of the king's. On the whole, 
he acquitted himself with moderation and good taste. 
The chief point between them is, that on the king ask- 
ing what can be said against the Church of England 
as the interpreter of the forms of the primitive hier- 
archy, he is met by the denial that there ever was a 
primitive hierarchy to be interpreted ; and this posi- 
tion is defended by the usual references to fathers 
of the Church and the like. The divine right of 
kings having no place in Henderson's argument, 
he excites something approaching to a haughty re- 
buke by his method of referring to them as men 
fallible and responsible. Eef erring to King James's 
acknowledgments of the discipline of the Church of 
Scotland, he is told : " Concerning the king my father, 
of happy and famous memory both for his piety and 
learning, I must tell you that I had the happiness to 
know him much better than you ; wherefore I desire 


you not to be too confident in tlie knowledge of liis 
opinions, for I daresay, sliould his ghost now speak, he 
would tell you that a bloody reformation was never 
lawful, as not warranted by God's Word, and that 
■prceces et lacIirymcB sunt arma ecclesice." And then 
coming closer to that claim of absolute power which 
it was the misfortune of his life to pursue : " For your 
defensive war, — as I do acknowledge it as a great sin 
for a king to oppress the Church, so I hold it absolutely 
unlawful for subjects, upon any pretence whatever, to 
make war, though defensive, against their lawful sover- 
eign; against which no less proofs will make me yield 
than God's Word. And let me tell you that upon 
such points as these, instances as well as comparisons 
are odious."^ 

The king remained with the Scots upwards of eight 
months. In writings contemporary and of later date 
there is a world of conjecture as to his designs or 
secret thoughts, with no distinct or satisfactory solu- 
tion. One subtle suggestion, for instance, would afford 
a substantial reason for the Henderson controversy — 
was it that he might have an opportunity, at any time 
before its conclusion, to say that he was convinced, 
and to throw himself heartily into the cause of the 
Scots and their Presbyterian brethren in England 1 
We know that this course was pressed on him, and 
that he did not take it. Among other distinct facts is, 
that his cause in England was gone, and acknowledged 
even by himself to be so. He went so far with the 
Scots as to abandon his ostensible quarrel with them, 
by the withdrawal of Montrose's commission as lieu- 

' The Papers which passed at Newcastle betwixt liis Sacred Majesty 
and Mr Ak^xander Henderson, 163, 180. 


tenant-general. Montrose had to leave Scotland ; but 
it was maintained that this was only keeping the word 
of promise in the lip, since there was still an armed 
Cavalier force in the north. The king, it was said, could 
have disbanded it, but it remained active and mischiev- 
ous until David Leslie went with a superior force for 
its chastisement.^ Another fact seems certain, that if 
the Scots took the king absolutely under their protec- 
tion, and removed him to Scotland, they must expect 
a serious war with the predominant party in England. 
Their commissioners in London were told this. From 
the earnestness of their endeavours to gain over the 
king to their own Presbyterian cause, it is clear that 
had he fairly accepted that alternative, they would 
have been prepared for this formidable war. 

There was another difficulty. As we have seen, 
their importance as a power in the English contest 
had gradually decreased. Now that the Avar had 
virtually come to an end, their presence in England 
as an armed force was an offensive intrusion. On the 
other hand, heavy arrears were due to them, and they 
would abide until these were paid. They Avere like 
a creditor in possession, and if their debt were not 
legitimately settled, they would continue to help 
themselves by forced contributions for their support. 
No doubt they also felt that in the possession of the 
king they held in pawn a pledge that might be made 
available for enforcing their claim. To any other 
effect he must have been a troublesome and unwelcome 
guest, since he exposed the Scots to the enmity of the 
English army, yet did not reward them by compliance 
with their demands. 

1 Thurloe's State Papers, i. 89. 


After much haggling there was a satisfactory settle- 
ment of the arrears. AVhen this had been adjusted, 
the Scots delivered the king into the hands of com- 
missioners from the English Parliament. This was 
done on the 8tli of January 1647, and then the Scots 
army with all due expedition returned home. Another 
way of telling the story would be, that the Scots, 
having adjusted the pecuniary business which de- 
tained them in England, returned home, leaving the 
king behind them. 

The world is familiar with the transaction as put 
in another shape different from either of these — the 
Scots sold their sovereign to his enemies for a sum of 
money, and gave it the name of arrears of pay. Had 
they invited the king to trust himself in their hands, 
they might have been chargeable with treachery; but 
there is no good evidence that anything was done to 
induce him to rely on them. On the face of the trans- 
action there is no connection between the payment 
and the surrender ; but the surrender was refused 
before the payment was made, and it is very unlikely 
that the Scots could have received their money if 
they had not surrendered the king. All this is pretty 
obvious and consistent with the conclusion already 
referred to, that they held the king in pawn for their 
claim. Then, apart from any question about trust, 
had the king really fled from enemies to find refuge 
with friends ? The Scots army were older and 
steadier enemies than the English. It was in the 
future, no doubt, that in England he was to be put 
to death ; but the Scots had no more reason to expect 
this of the English than to be themselves suspected of 
such a design ; and it was not by the party to whom 

THE ENGAGEMENT, 1648. 237 

he was intrusted or " sold " by the Scots that he was 
put to death, but by the enemies of that party. The 
Scots had made up their mind to return home when 
their arrears were paid. They could not keep the 
king except by taking him with them into Scotland, 
and such an act would have implied at once sus- 
picion and hostility towards those who had been so 
long their allies. The Scots showed in what they 
afterwards attempted for him and for his son, that 
had he agreed to their terms, and consented to be a 
Presbyterian king over a Presbyterian people, they 
would have fought for him instead of "selling" him. 
But even this has been used to complete the picture 
of meanness and treachery. It was Judas over again 
— they sold their master, and then, overtaken by re- 
morse, committed suicide at Preston and Worcester — 
as if the passions which drive the individual man 
to crime, followed by penitence, had any analogy 
with the multiplied motives which influence com- 
munities in their political action. This transac- 
tion has been overladen by a heap of controversy. 
This is unsupported by the apology that there are 
mysteries to be solved, as in the dispute about the 
guilt of Queen Mary and other like discussions. 
The facts are few and simple, but they are of the 
kind to stir political sympathies and antipathies, and 
so to be dealt with as these may dictate. When 
he left the Scots, accompanied by the Parliamentary 
commissioners, he was still a king, though a king sur- 
rounded by perils, as he would have been had he been 
removed to Edinburgh. By one of these he was soon 
overtaken, when Joyce with his troops seized him 
on behalf of the army. All this is English history of 


the most momentous and stirring kind, but it touches 
ScotLand also. At Newport, in the Isle of Wight, 
he did what, if he had done it at Newcastle, would 
have carried him to Edinburgh in regal triumph. He 
agreed to be the Covenanted monarch of a Presby- 
terian people. Given at Newcastle, this assurance 
would have been an open, substantial proclamation of 
his royal policy, unless he might have said that it 
was extorted by armed force. Done in secret during 
furtive interviews, and far away from Scottish force 
or influence, it was interpreted as an act of treach- 
ery to the English Parliament and army, with which 
he was in open treaty. 

So necessary was it to keep the " Engagement " a 
mystery, that the paper on which it was recorded was 
absolutely hidden in a hole in the garden at Newport, 
where, encased in lead to keep it from damage, it 
was covered with earth. The commissioners feared 
its discovery if in their custody, and therefore re- 
turned with a verbal statement of the result of their 
mission. The Committee of Estates took up the En- 
gagement, and commissioned an army to aid the king 
in return for his concessions. The party against the 
Engagement was, however, powerfid — it included 
Argyle. It was understood that this Engagement 
would band the loyal Presbyterians of Scotland, the 
old Parliamentary party in England, and the Cavaliers, 
to strive in concert for the restoration of the sovereign 
authority to be wielded over three Covenanted king- 
doms. But the Church would not accept of so ques- 
tionable an alliance. They felt that it would be an 
intercommuning with prelatical Malignants, and not 
only declined to accept of the Engagement, but ab- 


jured it as a sin. Tlie Engagers undertook a mighty 
project, destined, according to tlieir own expectations, 
to revolutionise the whole tenor of the events passing 
before their eyes. The end, however, was so futile, 
that it is necessary to hurry past it as among the abor- 
tive efforts for which history can ouly afford a casual 
notice. An army was sent southwards with the 
mighty design of an invasion of England. It was put 
under the command of the Duke of Hamilton ; and 
what he, or others responsible for its organisation, had 
made of it, may be best told by his eulogist : " The 
regiments were not full, many of them scarce exceeded 
half their number, and not the fifth man could handle 
pike or musket. The horse were the best mounted 
ever Scotland set out, yet most of the troopers were 
raw and undisciplined. They had no artillery — not 
so much as one field-piece — very little ammunition, 
and very few horse to carry it ; for want of which the 
duke stayed often in the rear of the whole army till 
the countrymen brought in horses, and then conveyed 
it with his own guard of horse. Thus the precipi- 
tation of affairs in England forced them on a march 
before they were in any posture for it ; but now they 
were engaged, and they must go forward." ^ 

This ill-found army wandered, rather than marched, 
as far as Preston. There it was surprised by Crom- 
well, and broken.^ A treaty, as advantageous as it 

1 Burnet's Memoirs, 355. 

^ So little is kuo\wi of the details of this affair and the part especially- 
taken by Hamilton's force, that there may be some interest in the fuUow- 
ino- narrative by Sir Marmaduke Langdale. It is the complaint of a 
commander ill supported by his colleague, but there is enough in it to 
show abundant mismanagement :— 

" The same night certayne intelligence came that Lt.-Generall Crom- 
well with all his forces was within 3 miles of my quarters, which I im- 


could obtain, was its only alternative. The treaty of 
Uttoxeter was signed on the 25th of August 1658. It 
conditioned " that James, Duke of Hamilton, his grace, 
with the rest of the officers and soldiers under his 

mediately sent to the duke, and told it to my Lord Leviston to acquaint 
Lt.-Generall Middleton therewith, and drew my forces together in a tield, 
and so marched towards Preston betimes in the morning, where I found 
the duke and Lord Calleuder with most part of tlie Scottish foot drawne 
up. Their resolution was to march to Wiggan, giving little credit to the 
intelligence that came the night before, but s\iffer their horse to continue 
in their quarters 10 and 12 miles off. 

" Within halfe an hower of our meeting, and by that time I was drawen 
into the close neere Preston, the enemy appeared with a small body of 
horse ; the Scotts continue their resolution for Wiggan, for which end 
they drew their foote over the bridge. The enemy coming the same 
way that I had marched, fell upon my quarter, where we continued 
skirmishing six houres, in all which time the Scott sent me no relief : 
they had very few horse come up, so as those tliey sent me at last were 
but few, and were .soone beaten ; but if they had sent me 1000 foote to 
have flanked the enemy, I doubt not the day had been ours. Yet I 
kept my post, with various successe, many times gathering ground of the 
enemy ; and as the Scots acknowledg, they never saw any foote light 
better than mine did. 

" The duke being incredulous that it was the whole army, sent Sir 
Lewis Dives to me, to whom I answered that it was impossible any 
forces that were inconsiderable would adventure to presse upon so great 
an army as we had, therefore he might conclude it was all the power 
they could make, and with which they were resolved to put all to the 
hazard, therefore desired that I might be seconded, and have more power 
and ammunition, I having spent nine barrels of powder. 

" The Scots continue their march over the river, and did not secure a 
lane near the bridge, whereby the Parliament forces came on my flanks; 
neither did the forces that were left for my supply come to my relief, 
but continued in the reare of mine, nor did they ever face the enemy, hut 
in bringing up the reare. 

" When most part of the Scots were drawn over the bridge, the Parlia- 
ment forces pressed hard upon me in the van and flanks, and so drive 
me into the towne, where the duke was in person, with some few horse; 
but all being lost, retreated over a foord to his foote. After my forces 
were beaten, the Parliament forces beat the Scots from the bridge pre- 
sently, and so came over into all the lanes, that we could not joyne with 
the foote, but were forced to Charlow, where we found Lt. -General 
Middleton ready to advance towards Preston towards the foote, which 


command, now at Uttoxcter, shall render themselves 
up prisoners of war, with their horses, arms, and all 
other provisions of war, bag and baggage." The offi- 
cers and soldiers " shall have their lives and safety of 

he did ; Ijut not finding them there, returned to Wiggan, where the 
duke was with his foote (mine totally lost). 

" There they tooke a resolution to go to my Lord Biron, for which end 
they would march that night to Warrington. In their march the Parlia- 
ment forces fell so fast npon their rear, that they could not reach War- 
rington that night. And Lieutenant-Generall Middleton finding him- 
self unable to withstand their forces, left the foote in Warrington to 
make their own conditions. 

" So as we marched towards Malpas, sixe of the Scottish lords in this 
march left iis, whereof my Lord Traquaire was one. Most part sub- 
mitted to the Sheriff of Shropshire, who sent two gentlemen of that 
country to the duke to offer him the same quarter that the Earl of 
Traquaire had. From Malpaa we marched to Drayton and so to Stone ; 
in our march from thence to Uttoxeter, the Parliament forces fell upon 
the reare, and took Lieutenant-Generall Middleton. 

"At Utoxeter the next morning going to attend the duke for his 
resolution, I found him extreame sick, not able to march. My Lord 
Callender seemed to refuse all wayes of treaty, but rather to march 
northward, where we had a considerable force, and the whole kingdome 
of Scotland at our backs. Upon this we marched over the river toward 
Ashburne. I had the van, and was marching ; presently my Lord of 
Callender came to me, told me he would march with me, but that none 
of his forces would, and that he had much ado to escape them ; that he 
was come himseK alone, his horse pricked in the foote, and without a 
cloake. I perswaded his lordship that it was better to return to his 
forces, because I could not protect him ; and seeing the Scots had left 
me, I was resolved to sever and shift every man for himselfe, but to 
capitulate I could not with a safe conscience." — Tracts relating to the 
Military Proceedings in Lancashire during the great CivU War, 268-70. 

The following local account of the army's march, even if it be in 
some measure exaggerated, shows us something much in contrast with 
Leslie's orderly invasions : — 

" In divers places some whole families have not left them wherewith 
to subsist a day, but are glad to come hither for meer subsistance. They 
have taken forth of divers families all, the very rackeu crocks and pot- 
hooks ; they have driven away all the beasts, sheep, and horses, in divers 
townships, all, without redemption, save some poor milche kine. They 
tell the people they must have their houses too, and we verily believe it 
must be so, because Duke Hamilton hath told them it should be so. 



their persons assured to them, and shall not be pillaged 
or stripped of their wearing clothes."'^ 

Though the Engagers had not sent into England the 
thirty thousand men promised by them, the absence 
of a third of that number, and of the officers command- 
ing them, weakened the Engagement party. We have 
seen that it was when Leslie's army went to England 
to join the Parliamentary forces that Montrose was 
able to strike a blow for the king. On this occasion 
a like opportunity was taken from the opposite side, 
with less immediate, but more permanent, success. 
The opponents of the Engagement held from the begin- 
ning that the Covenant was brought into it as a pre- 
tence. They saw Hamilton's army and that of the 
English Malignants or Cavaliers acting to a common 
end, though carefully avoiding all visible tokens of 
concert and co-operation. More thoroughly convinced. 

Their usage of some women is extreamly abominable, and of men very 
barberous, wberein we apprehend nevertheless something of God's 
justice towards very many, who have abundantly desired and rejoyced 
at their advance hither : old extream Cavaliers, whom they have most 
oppressed in their acts of violence and plunder, to our great adndra- 

"They raile without measure at our ministers, and threaten the destruc- 
tion of so many as they can get. Many Cavaliers have sent into Furness 
and Cartmel to Sir Thomas Tdsley for protections, but the Scots weigh 
not their protections a rush, and Tilsley himself tells the Cavaliers he 
can do them no good, but wishes them to use their best shifts in putting 
their goods out of the way. They say they'll not leave the country 
worth anything ; they make no account of Lambert, they say he is run 
away. They are yet in quarters at Burton, Kirby, Whittington, &o., 
and the English at Encross and Furness. They have driven away above 
COO cattle and 1500 sheep. They have given such earnest of their 
conditions that the country have wholly driven away their cattel of 
all sorts towards Yorkshire and the bottom of Lancashire ; forty great 
droves at least are gone from us, and through this towne this day." 
—Ibid., 254, 255. 

' Burnet's Memoirs, 364. 

THE WHIGAMORES, 1648. 243 

or professing to be so, every day, that Hamilton and 
his followers had deserted the Covenant and the na- 
tional cause for the sake of helping the king to return 
unconditionally to his throne, the minority in the 
Estates used all their feudal and popular influence to 
gather a force. Argyle was to bring his whole following 
of western Highlanders. The clergy of the west were 
to a man bitterly against the Engagement, and they 
were all hard at work rousing the faithful. 

It is at this period that we find for the first time in 
the south-Avest of Scotland a zeal for the Covenant 
heating by degrees, until it at last outflamed the zeal 
of the east, where the Covenant had its cradle. At 
Mauehline, in Ap'shire, a large body of men assembled 
under the auspices of Lord Egiinton, a zealous Cove- 
nanting potentate. They formed themselves into a 
military party, and marched in the direction of Edin- 
burgh, gathering as they went. Their feat was called 
"the Whigamores' Raid;" and this is the first use 
appearing in history of a word which, in its abbrevi- 
ated form of " Whig," was destined to political ser- 
vice too well known to need a word of explanation.^ 
Leslie undertook to gather into a compact army the 
heterogeneous forces thus assembling from different 
quarters, and it seemed as if there were to be a new 
civil war in Scotland. The only considerable inci- 

^ They are called Whigamores by Sir James Balfour, a contemporary. 
Burnet, who was then five years old, afterwards used the term in his 
' Memoirs of the House of Hamilton,' and also in his ' History of his own 
Times ' where he offers this etymological explanation of it : " The south- 
west counties of Scotland have seldom corn enough to serve them 
throughout the year, and the northern party producing more than they 
need those in the west come in the summer to buy at Leith the storse 
that come from the north ; and from a word ' whiggam,' used in driv- 
ing their horses, all that drove were called the ' whiggamors,' and 


dent of war, however, was that when Argyle with his 
HighLanders attempted to take Stirling Castle, they 
were assailed and severely handled by Sir George 
Monro, who had bronght over a division of Hamil- 
ton's army left near the Border when the body of the 
army had advanced on Preston. 

Argyle and his party, however, found a way to 
make their predominance secure. They came to terms 
with the victorious Cromwell, who agreed to join them 
in Scotland. The fragments of Hamilton's beaten 
army, when assembled in Scotland, were insufficient 
to cope with the new power. The Committee of 
Estates retired, or, as some expressed it, fled. A 
group of leaders, with Argyle at their head, formed 
a government, and took to themselves the name of 
the " Committee of Estates." 

The road to Scotland being oj)ened by the destruc- 
tion of Hamilton's army, Cromwell marched to Edin- 
burgh. He laid before the Committee of Estates, 
according to his peculiar rhetoric, divers " considera- 
tions," like the preambles of Acts of Parliament — as, 
in reference to the army which he had broken : " Con- 
sidering that divers of that army are retired into 
Scotland, and some of the heads of those Malignants 
were raising new forces in Scotland to carry on the 

shorter the ' whiggs.' Now in that year, after the news came down of 
Duke Hamilton's defeat, the ministers animated their people to rise and 
march to Edinburgh ; and they came up, marching at the head of their 
parishes, with an imheard-of fury, praying and preaching all the way as 
tliey came. The Marquis of Argyle and his party came and headed 
them, they being about six. thousand. This was called the Whiggamors' 
inroad ; and ever after tliat, those who opposed tlie cause came in con- 
tempt to be called ' Wliiggs ;' and from Scotland the word was brought 
into England, where it is now one of our unhappy terms of distinction." 
— Summary of Affairs. 

ACT OF CLASSES, 1649. 245 

same design, and that they will certainly be able to 
do the like upon all occasions of advantage ; " there- 
fore he demanded assurance, in name of the kingdom 
of Scotland, that no person accessary to the Engage- 
ment, which was followed by the invasion, " be em- 
•ployed in any public place or trust whatsoever." Of 
course there was no alternative but to concede these 
terms. In fact they were what the Government of 
Scotland vehemently desired ; but that they were 
pressed by Cromwell made it all the more likely that 
they would be put in full force. Oa the other hand, he 
did his new allies the compliment of taking or renew- 
ing the Covenant along with them. He was feasted 
with great pomp in " the High Parliament House." ^ 
Argyle and he had much opportunity of conference ; 
and the Cavaliers even suspected that the tragic 
drama to be presently enacted, with much more 
dark work, was then concerted between these subtle 

The Estates assembled in the beginning of January 
1649. The predominant party were able carefully 
to weed the new Parliament of the Engagement ele- 
ment. Their chief business was to give full effect to 
the bargain with Cromwell, by excluding from public 
office all who had been concerned in the Engage- 
ment. Two statutes, one of them known in history 
as the " Act of Classes," confirmed this disqualification, 
and at the same time reversed much of the business 
transacted by recent Parliaments and by the Commit- 
tee of Estates. 

Four " classes" of men are defined according to their 
conduct as disqualified from sitting in Parliament or 

^ Carlyle's Cromwell, ii. 223 el seq. 


holding any public office for a period measured by 
their iniquities. They include all Malignants or 
enemies of the Covenant, and all those who j)roved 
themselves its false friends by either furthering or 
assenting to the Engagement. The fourth class was 
of a general and comprehensive character, including 
all men " given to uncleanness, bribery, swearing, 
drunkenness, or deceiving, or are otherwise openly 
profane and grossly scandalous in their conversation, 
and who neglect the worship of God in their families." 

Had these Acts been passed in the General Assem- 
bly instead of the Estates, they could not have done 
more to throw the country into the hands of the 
clergy. One of the grounds of criminality in those 
who went with the Engagement was, that the General 
Assembly had issued a declaration maintaining " the 
unlawfulness of the said Engagement," and " denounc- 
ing God's judgment against it," which denunciation 
" was seconded so speedily and immediately by God's 
own hand " in the defeat of the Scots army. Then the 
restoration of those belonging to " the classes," after 
their period of probation, was to be contingent on their 
giving satisfaction to the judicatories of the Kirk.^ 

It is not wonderful that at this time we hear of 
statesmen sitting for lengthened periods on the stool 
of repentance, and parish ministers re-enacting the 
part of Hildebrand with the emperor.^ 

' " Act repealing all Acts of Parliament or Committee made for the 
late unlawful Engagement, and ratifying the protestation and opposition 
against the same" (Acts, vi. 341) ; and " The Act of Classes for purging 
the judicatories and other places of public trust " (ibid., 352). 

' " To remember how with abundance of tears the Lord Chancellor 
[Loudon] made his repentance in the East Church of Edinburgh, declar- 
ing so much of his former honest dealing with the people as he well 

ACT OF CLASSES, 1 649. 247 

These Acts are long discursive papers, unlike the 
general substance of the Scottish statute-book, and 
bearing more resemblance to the work of the ecclesi- 
astical than of the civil power. Through all the wild 
work of the period, the utterances of the Legislature 
and the supreme tribunals generally preserve a grave 
decorum ; but these Acts are full of vehement raving. 
They are a testimony as well as a law, and a song of 
triumph over a beaten enemy infused through both ; 
in this capacity they refer to the defeat of a Scots 

knew every one understood ; and this was done to please some of the 
leading ministers, who were now leading this penitent in triumph, and 
causing him sing peccavi to blear the eyes of the commons." — Balfour, iii. 
395. So far the Lord Lyon. A stranger who had opportunities for 
noticing affairs in Scotland a few months later, tells how several of the 
more eminent of the Engagers " went from Court, and have by their 
several ways endeavoured to be reconciled to the Kirk and State, and 
have had their various success; for Duke Hamilton, notwithstanding any 
submission he could make, was not permitted to stay above fourteen 
days at his own house, but was forced to retreat into the Isle of Arran. 
The Earl of Lauderdale had the favour to stay at home, but not to come 
to Court. The Earl of Dunfermline was at first admitted to stay at 
home, then to give satisfaction for being in the late wicked and unlaw- 
ful Engagement, as they call it, sitting in his own seat in Dunfermline, 
and not in sackcloth on the stool of repentance at Edinburgh, as did the 
Earl of Crawford Lyndsay at the same time — but the reason is appar- 
ent, the one being Argyle's creature, the other Hamilton's brother-in- 
law ; and, lastly, to be permitted to come to Court and to wait gentle- 
man of the bedchaml-ier. What became of the Earl of Carnwath j'ou 
shall hear shortly. The Earl of Brainford [?] returned to his friends; 
and after going to Edinbui-gh and desiring to be reconciled to the Kirk, 
he waited five days before he could deliver his petition. At length he 
wave it to one of those high priests, by whom it was carried in, and 
beinc read, after much scof&ng at his titles, answer was returned him, 
that as he behaved himself they would in time take his desires into con- 
sideration." — Sir Edward Walker's Joiirnal, 159. What happened to 
Carnwath was, that being driven from the presence of Charles II. when 
in Scotland by Mr Wood, a minister, one of the commissioners to the 
Hague, " and coming to him, said, ' God, I hope, will forgive me ; will 
not you ? ' But ]Mr Wood turned from him in disdain, giving him never 
a word."— Ibid., 161. 


by an English army as something like a special 
mercy. -^ 

These Acts were probably prepared by Warriston, 
who, by his ascetic life, his pious conversation, and 
his untiring zeal in ecclesiastical work, proved himself 
to be one of the few laymen of that period to whom 
the Covenant was more than a mere political power. 
We know that he made a notable speech on the 
occasion, and the Act itself was probably modelled on 
what he said.^ 

This aifair of the Engagement and the Act of 
Classes might afford some curious matter to any in- 
quirer not under an obligation to measure the par- 
ticularity of detail with the ultimate importance of 
events. Contemporary literature and correspondence 
would make this stage in the current of events seem 
as important as the promulgation of the Covenant or 
the march of Leslie's army into England. It seemed 
as if the great cause, which appeared to falter, had 

1 Among the iniquities of the Engagers are, that they "led out a 
forced multitude to slaughter or slavery with so great reproach and dis- 
gTace to the nation, and occasioned a powerful army to enter the howels 
of this kingdom in pursuit of their enemies who had invaded England, 
to the great endangerment of this kingdom, and so laying the land open, 
and making it liable to the guilt and misery of an unjust and offensive 
war, drawing down God's judgments, and exposing us and our posterity 
to invasion from ovir neighbour kingdom, if God in His providence had 
not remedied the same." Farther, the protestations of the clergy were 
confirmed " by God's O'viTi hand," " in the defeat of that army and their 
overthrow in England with their associates in England." 

^ " This day the Marquis of Argyle had a very long speech, consisting 
of five heads, which he called the breaking of the Malignants' teeth, and 
he who came after him (Warriston, viz.) would break their jaws." 
" Warriston, the king's advocate, after the Marquis of Argyle had 
ended, read a speech two hours in length off his paper, being an ex- 
planation of Argyle's five heads of teeth, as he named them, with the 
answering of such objects he thought the prime Engagers would make 
in their own defence." — Balfour, iii. 377. 


renewed its strength. The Lord was showing again 
the face which He had withdrawn ; the enemy was 
conquered, and the work of bringing the three king- 
doms to Covenanted reformation was to revive and go 
on to its triumphant end. There seems to have been 
among the zealots who had got possession of the 
Estates an utter unconsciousness that a power was 
arising destined to overwhelm them and their policy. 
While Warriston was proclaiming the triumph of his 
party and the reign of righteousness, the High Court 
of Justice was beginning its work in Westminster 
Hall. On the 30th of January 1649, King Charles I. 
was beheaded. With the High Court of Justice by 
which he was tried and condemned Scotland had 
no concern. On England lay the responsibility of the 
act, and with those who write the history of the 
England of that day lies the responsibility of passing 
historical judgment on it. It must suffice on the pre- 
sent occasion to note some points of difference between 
political conditions in England and in Scotland in- 
tiuencing the effect which the event had on public 
feeling in Scotland. 

In Scotland there was no republican party. The 
opponents of the king only desired to bring him to 
reason. They would not have put him to death, nor 
would they approve of the act. It was perhaps, how- 
ever, hardly to them that deed of awful sacrilege which 
it was in the eyes of the English Eoyalists. It seems 
on the whole, indeed, to have been considered an event 
rather fortunate in itself, that the regicides of England 
should have disposed of a king so obstinate and so 
tricky, making way for an unsophisticated youth who 
might be trained in the right path. It was perhaps 


the way in wliich God thouglit fit to further the cause 
of the Covenant and of righteousness, that the stum- 
bling-block should be removed by the hands of these 
English sectaries and latitudinarians. They them- 
selves were all for the monarchy — the old Scots 
monarchy which had existed for more than a thousand 
years. But they had no favour for this particular 
monarch ; and without calling him a saint and martyr, 
or announcing that his fate had stricken many of his 
faithful people with death or insanity, they accepted 
of his son as the legitimate successor to the crown of 
Eobert Bruce. 

Distance from the scene of the tragedy concurred, 
with other incidental matters, to render the excitement 
naturally accompanying such an event less powerful 
in Scotland than in England. But there was another 
emphatic difference between the two countries. To 
the actors on the public stage in Scotland the long 
contest had been on purely public grounds, religious 
or political. It had not become, as in England, a per- 
sonal struggle for life or death. In estimating the 
motives of those chiefly concerned in the event, this 
should ever be remembered. The long dangerous 
game of fast-and-loose that had been played with 
those who, from the opening of the Long Parliament, 
had been in one shape or other at enmity Avith the 
Court, convinced them that no treaty or other adjust- 
ment or promise would make their lives secure while 
the king lived. In Scotland, on the other hand, the 
party opposed to him — it might be more correct to 
say the party ojDposed to his government — had all 
along a preponderance so overwhelming that the 
leaders of it had nothing personally to fear. There 


are many testimonies to this, but one is conclusive, 
that while the balance was vibrating between the two 
sides in England, the Scots lent their army to their 
friends of the Parliamentary party ; and it was only 
while this army was absent on duty elsewhere that 
the Cavalier party were able to take the field. 

On the 5th of February, immediately after the 
ncAvs of the execution had reached Edinburgh, Charles 
II. was solemnly proclaimed at the cross as " King 
of Great Britain, France, and Ireland." ^ As we 
shall presently see, however, he was not permitted 
to enter on duty until he became an assured Cove- 

1 Balfour, iii. 383. 











The king's execution was followed by another nearly 
as important to Scotland. The Duke of Hamilton 
was arraigned before the same High Court of Justice 
which had just dealt with the king. His character and 
the motives of his actions were throughout involved in 
a strange mystery ; and it seemed to be the fate of his 
house ever to be an enigma, whether from the actual 
character of the men themselves, or the suspicions 


which the world naturally held about the motives of 
those who were by pedigree so peculiarly situated.^ 
It is an incident which scarcely connects itself with 
wider historical events, that he was for some time 
under such suspicion at Court, that he was detained 
in one prison after another, until in 1646, after nearly 
two years of such detention, he was released from St 
Michael's Mount, in Cornwall, when it was taken by 
the Parliamentary army. His arraignment was for 
the invasion ending in the treaty of Uttoxeter. The 
indictment furnishes a touch of curious pedantry in 
calling him by no other name than Earl of Cambridge 
— an English title conferred on him when he was raised 
in 1643 from a marquisate to a dukedom. The charge 
against the Earl of Cambridge was, that he had traitor- 
ously invaded England in hostile manner, " and levied 
war to assist the king against the kingdom and people 
of England ; and had committed sundry murders, out- 
rages, rapines, wastes, and spoils upon the said people." 
He pleaded that he had acted by command of the 
supreme authority of his own country, Scotland — an 
independent kingdom. Further, that he was born 
before the union of the crowns, and as he had not the 
privileges, so he had not the responsibilities, of an 
English subject. Being thus a foreign invader, he 
had capitulated according to the usages of war between 
enemies, and had been accepted to quarter. He there- 
fore held that every English tribunal was bound by 
the articles of the treaty of Uttoxeter, which promised 
safety to his life. There was much arguing on these 
pleas, which of course came to nothing. It may be 
noted, that had his trial been in Scotland, he would, 

' See above, chap. Ixx. 


according to usage, have probably pleaded that he 
was acting for the king. But to plead such authority 
before the tribunal which had just put that king 
to death, would have been a stretch even on the 
habitual use to which his enemies applied the sanc- 
tion of his name. Hamilton was executed on the 
9th of March 1649, meeting his fate with heroic 

A third death, which at other times would have held 
a conspicuous place among events in Scotland, comes, 
like Hamilton's, as a mere secondary incident, over- 
shadowed by the great tragedy of the day. The Com- 
mittee of Estates had got possession of their steady 
and long-sought enemy Huntly early in March of 
1647. Just a week after the execution of Hamilton — 
on the 16th of March 1649 — he was brought to trial. 
Nothing could be more easily proved tha.n his " trea- 
son " before those who counted war in the king's name 
against the Covenant to be treason, and he was be- 
headed on the 22d. Had the Committee of Estates 
thirsted for the king's blood, the death of his cham- 
pion would have been the natural result of an excite- 
ment born of sanguinary sympathies. Professing, as 
they did, to hold the king's execution as a crime, one 
would have naturally expected that the event would 
give a pause to their hostile vehemence ; but they 
were not to be influenced by sympathies or shadows, 
and would do their own work, whatever the rest of 
the world might be about. 

To the modified character of the grief and resent- 
ment bestowed by the Scots on the fate of the king, 
there was at least one exception. Since the time 

1 State Trials, iv. 1155. 


when Montrose sliowed in his brilliant little campaign 
how much he could accomplish with small means, his 
ardour had been cherished in the sunshine of the 
Court. He was urged by the young prince, in no 
generous or even upright spirit, as we shall find, to 
strike for the cause of royalty. But his acts were less 
those of a man struggling for a living cause with 
means offering probable success, than the desperate 
efforts of one stricken with grief and rage. As he 
proclaimed in some passionate verses written for the 
occasion, he went as the avenger of wrong and the 
champion of the fame of the illustrious victim. He 
followed the old impulse of chivalry in so far as it 
disdained any estimate of the capacity to accomplish 
a design, but rushed to the hopeless charge as a type 
of the champion's courage and devotion. There was 
something in the invasion of Scotland now undertaken 
by him so wild and unpractical, that in its utter desti- 
tution of prudent selfishness it did something to wipe 
away whatever stains of cruelty or treachery have 
tended to blot his name. His proj ect was inaugurated by 
much fussy diplomacy, professing to discuss the great 
assistance in men, money, and arms to be provided by 
foreign powers. It is said that the bulk of the foreign 
troops put at his command were lost by shipwreck. 
However it might be, the end of the vast announce- 
ments of preparation was, that he reached Orkney 
with some seven hundred men, chiefly from Holstein 
and Hamburg, and fifteen hundred stand of arms 
given him by the Queen of Sweden. He was not 
likely to find among the Orcadians much indignation 
about the fate of a King in London, or even to find 
many who had ever heard of it. What recruits, 

256 COi\niONWEALTH. 

therefore, he obtained among them were probably 
pressed in to serve by the foreigners. 

Thus slenderly attended, he passed to the mainland. 
If, as some unwise people told him, he would find the 
north all in a ferment and eager to rush to his stand- 
ard, he was cruelly disappointed. An overwhelming 
foi'ce was sent against him under Leslie. Had the 
two forces met, there had been no material for a battle ; 
but it happened that the little band under Montrose 
only encountered a small detachment under Strachan. 
The place where they met was Invercharron, on the 
northern border of Ross-shire, to the westward of the 
present railway-station of Bonar Bridge. Montrose 
seems to have had the larger force of the two ; but it 
was incongruously made up of foreigners, undrilled 
Orcadians, and just a sprinkling of gentlemen Cava- 
liers trained in the civil wars. He tried to gain a pass, 
where he might have held out until the main body of 
his enemies arrived, but his party was broken and dis- 
persed before he reached it. He escaped in the con- 
fusion, and, turning northwards, swam the Kyle, an 
estuary separating Ross from Sutherland, and wandered 
up Strath Oikil into the higher mountain-ranges of 
the west. He was accompanied by Lord Kinnoul, 
and both were disguised as inhabitants of the country. 
They suffered from hunger and from cold, for April 
was not yet over ; and as Kinnoul never reappeared, 
he no doubt died of his miseries. Montrose himself 
was taken by Macleod of Assynt, at the head of a 
party in search of him. 

He Avas removed to Edinburgh, where of course he 
had to expect no mercy. It is between those who 
remain true to a cause and those who break from it 


tliat political hatred finds growth for its direst strength. 
The more thorough the refugee's belief in the honesty 
of his motives, the deeper is his enmity against his old 
companions. They and their cause have bitterly de- 
ceived him. He joined it, believing that it would 
work to certain good results beloved of his own heart ; 
but he has found that he was wrong in that belief, 
and the guilt all lies on those whom he has cast off. 
They in their turn give hate for hate. The deserter, 
traitor, renegade, apostate, or whatever other name he 
may be called by, has no claim to the courtesies due 
to the consistent and natural enemy. To Huntly, 
Haddo, Airlie, and their kind. Papists and Prelatists, 
something was due that could not be granted to him 
who had stood foremost for the Covenant, and had 
banded a horde of cut-throat savages against the Cove- 
nanters. He might plead conscientious conviction ; 
he might say he went with his friends of the Cove- 
nant until he found them choosing devious courses, 
— still he was the man who had appeared foremost 
among the children of God, and was now serving 
under his true master the devil. 

In the natural course of political cause and effect, 
death was his portion ; and it is an idle waste of words 
to reproach those who, in fulfilling that fate, could 
not only justify themselves, but plead the command 
of political duty. It is likely enough that the tragedy 
was not performed in good taste, and that ribaldries 
and humiliations unsuited to so solemn an occasion 
were heaped upon the victim. But these are accusa- 
tions about which, as about floating scandals, it is well 
not to indulge in much comment and discussion. To 
cast humiliation on the fallen enemy was an ungrace- 



ful habit of the day in which the Covenanters took 
their Ml share. But to exaggerate, and sometimes to 
invent, stories of such humiliations, was another prac- 
tice of the age, and it is sometimes well to leave the 
one to neutralise the other. 

We have official acknowledgment of another and 
more solemn kind of persecution inflicted by those 
who believed themselves to be engaged in a work of 
love and duty. Thus it is recorded how " the com- 
mission of the General Assembly doth appoint Messrs 
David Dickson, James Durham, James Guthry, Eobert 
Trail, Hugh Mackail, to attend upon James Graham 
when he is entered in ward and upon the scaffold, and 
deal with him to bring him to repentance, with power 
to them to release him from excommunication if so be 
he shall subscribe the declaration condescended upon 
by the commission, containing an acknowledgment of 
his heinous and gross offences, — otherwise that they 
should not relax him." ^ The inquisitive "Wodrow 
got from one who was present during the infliction 
so decreed a few notes of what ]3assed. Among the 
heads of admonition and remonstrance were : " Some- 
what of his natural temper, which was aspiring and 
lofty;" "his personal vices, which were too notorious;" 
" his taking Irish and Popish rebels and cut-throats by 
the hand, to make use of against his own country- 
men." He did not give these divines satisfaction, 
and they pronounced their j udgment through Guthrie, 
who said : "As we were appointed by the commission 
of the General Assembly to confer with you, and 
bring you, if it could be attained, to some sense of 
your guilt, so we had, if we had found you penitent, 

^ Record cited, Napier's Life and Times, 482. 


power from the said commission to relax you from 
the excommunication under 'whicli you lie. But now, 
since we find it far otherwise with you, and that you 
maintain your former course, and all things for which 
that sentence is passed upon you, we must with sad 
hearts leave you under the same until the judgment 
of the great God, under the fearful impression of that 
which is bound on earth God will bind in heaven." ^ 

Notorious as the actions for which he was to suffer 
were, they had to be dealt with in form of law by the 
civil tribunal. In ordinary circumstances there would 
have been an indictment with a circumstantial history 
of the several acts of war, treason, and slaughter ; and 
evidence would have been extracted at length to 
prove that the things had been done, and to identify 
" the said James Graham " as a person concerned in 
the doing of them. But this pedantry was obviated 
by another and a shorter. He had already been in- 
dicted to stand trial before the Estates for his achieve- 
ments in 1645. He had not appeared at the bar, 
and was accordingly outlawed and forfeited. This, 
unless the Estates chose to withdraw the forfeiture, 
left nothing to be done but the adjustment of the 
sentence. It saves the necessity of narrating the 
method of his execution, to give it in the words of an 
"Act ordaining James Graham to be brought from the 
Watergate on a cart bareheaded, the hangman in his 
livery covered, riding on the horse that draws the 
cart — the prisoner to be bound to the cart with a 
rope — to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, and from thence 

' Wodrow Analecta, i. 162. Both Guthrie, who pronounced the sen- 
tence, and his companion Mackail, had afterwards to appear as martyrs 
on the other side. 


to be brought to tbe Parliament House, and there, in 
the place of delinquents, on his knees, to receive his 
sentence — viz., to be hanged on a gibbet at the cross 
of Edinburgh, with his book and declaration tied in a 
rope about his neck, and there to hang for the space 
of three hours until he be dead ; and thereafter to be 
cut down by the hangman, his head, hands, and legs 
to be cut off and distributed as follows — viz., his 
head to be affixed on an iron pin, and set on the pin- 
nacle of the west gavel of the new prison of Edin- 
burgh ; one hand to be set on the port of Perth, the 
other on the port of Stirling ; one leg and foot on 
the port of Aberdeen, the other on the port of Glas- 
gow. If he was at his death penitent and relaxed 
from excommunication, then the trunk of his body to 
be interred by pioneers in the Greyfriars', otherwise 
to be interred in the Burrow Muir by the hangman's 
men under the gallows." ^ He was not relaxed from 
excommunication. The sentence was executed on the 
25th of May in the High Street of Edinburgh.^ 

^ Balfour's Annals, Works, iv. 12. The book to be tied by a rope about 
his neck was the history of liis triumphs, by his chaplain. Bishop 
Wishart, published in 1648 in Paris : ' De Rebus, auspiciis Caroli Dei 
gratia ^IaL;na! Britannia Kegis, sub imperio illustrissimi Jacobi Moutis- 
rosarum ^larchionis Commentarius.' 

- To know that there is an account of the last scene from the pen of 
Argyle himself may excite a curiosity scarcely to be justified by its 
perusal. It is written on the very day to his nephew, afterwards his 
son-in-law, Lord Lothian. The event chiefly engrossing his attention is 
the birth of a daughter, and he is weary with watching during the 
critical period. Then he notes how her " birthday is remarkable in the 
tragic end of James Graham at the cross " : " He got some resolution 
after he came here how to go out of this world ; but nothing at all how 
to enter into another, not so much as once humbling himself to pray at 
all upon the scaffold, nor saying anytliing on it that he had not repeated 
many times before when the ministers were with him. For what may 
concern the public I leave it to the public papers and Mr James Dai- 
ry mple's relation." — Note to Kirkton's History, 124; Lothian Papers. 


Ou the 17tli of March certain commissioners had 
sailed from Kirkcaldy to confer with the young king 
in Holland. There was one peer, Lord Cassilis, who 
^vith the Laird of Brodie, Provost Jaffery of Aberdeen, 
and the provost of the small burgh of Irvine, in A}-r- 
shire, represented the Estates. The Church was re- 
presented by Eobert Baillie, another minister, and 
a ruling elder. This deputation was not affluently 
adorned by rank and station, and perhaps rather too 
closely represented the position of the ruling power. 
But they were high in confidence and singleness of 
purpose. The Government represented by them had 
been signally purified, and it was no matter that the 
purification had cut off some two-thirds of its rank, 
talent, and territorial influence, with a large share of 
its fighting power. So they went to the Hague with 
a " readiness to espouse the king's cause, if he first 
will espouse God's cause." ^ This, put more specifi- 
cally, meant that he should take the Covenant with 
its companion testimonies, engage to do his utmost 
to enforce the whole Covenanting system over Eng- 
land and Ireland, and join in denouncing the Engage- 

A miscellaneous body of sympathisers and sup- 
porters naturally crowded about the young prince — 
Cavaliers from England and Scotland, with a few of 
those fresh outcasts the Engagers. For rank and 
title they were a brilliant court, yet the humble group 
who came from Scotland were the only men among 
them who represented any established government. 
These began their mission somewhat skilfully in a 
speech by the accomplished Baillie, containing matter 

^ Biiillie's Letters, iii. 75. 


that must liavc been accc.ptaWo. " Wo do dcclan;," 
lie said, " wliat in our own brcant often we have felt, 
and generally in tlie people among whom we live 
have seen witli our eyes, ane mournl'ul sorrow for that 
cxeci'aljlc and tragie j)aJTicide, winch, tliough all men 
on earth should jiass over un(|uesti()ried, yet wo 
nothing doubt but tiic great Judge of the world will 
arise and plead against every one, of what condition 
soever, who have been either authors or actors, or 
cons( inters or approvers, of that hardly expressible 
crime, which stamps and stigmatises with a new and 
before unseen chara,cter of infamy tlie face of the 
whole generation of sectaries and their adherents 
from whose hearts and hands that vilest villany did 
proceed." ^ 

Avoiding disa,grceable3 at this first interview, they 
left with liim a letter from the commission of 
Ass(!mbly which might gra,dually and gently unfold 
their ultimate objects, and delivercsd to him the raw 
matei-ial of future discussion — " the National Covenant, 
the Solemn I^eaguc and (Jovcrijint, the Directory, the 
Confession of 1^'aith, the Catechise, the Proitositions 
of Government, bound together in a book so handsome 
as we could get thcm."^ 

The assassination of Dorislaus, and the dark suspi- 
cions thrown by it on those who were deep in the 
confidence of the prince, disj)erscd tlie little court at 
the Hague. After an interval of restlessness it settled 
down at Bnjda, where he was again in a position to 
hear terms by the Government of Scotland. Their 
propositions were as distinct and absolute as ever. 
Diplomacy, in the usual acceptation of the tci-m, there 

1 JiaiUic'H LcjUom, ill. 85. ' Ibid., 87. 


was none — whatever tlie king miglit say, the ultimate 
answer resolved itself into yea or nay. With a sort of 
cheerful carelessness he adopted the affirmative. To 
every proposition setting down in the hardest and 
least ambiguous words their rigid terms, there was 
set down, " His majesty doth consent to this whole 
proposition in ter minis." '^ He was at the same time 
hounding ^Montrose out on his expedition, and telling 
him not to believe a word of any rumour that he was 
to accept of the Covenant. His iustruction was : " AYe 
require and authorise you to proceed vigorously in 
your undertakino', and to act in all thino-s in order to 
it as you shall judge most necessary for the support 
thereof and for our service in that way."" There was 
such a banishment of all deliberation, such a prompt 
recklessness in this double-dealing, that it partook of 
the nature of a capricious escapade when compared 
with the solemn duplicit)- of his father. 

Escaping some danger from the cruisers of the 
Eepublic, the prince arrived at the mouth of the Spoy 
on the 3d of July. Before he was permitted to 
land, we are told that " his majesty signed both the 
Covenants, Xational and Solemn, and had notable 
sermons and exhortations made unto him by the 
ministers to persevere therein."^ He found protection 
in Huntly's Castle of Gight, where, although its 
master had just been put to death, there was a 
garrison. He went on by Aberdeen to the Earl 
Marischal's fortress at Dunnottar, and so by Dundee 
and St Andrews to Falkland Palace. Due investiga- 
tion having been made into the character of a gToup 

' Thnrloe's State Papers, L 147. " Clarendon's State Papers. 

3 Sir Edward Walker's Journal, 159. 


of courtiers who attended the prince, it was discovered 
with alarm that they consisted of English Malignants, 
and of Scots who were either JMalignants or Engagers. 
They were all dispersed with the exception of a small 
select group. Among these was Buckingham — a 
singular exception to the general disqualiiication, 
suggesting that he had successfully tried his powers 
of mimicry, and passed himself oif as a child of 

This royal progress, sordid and unhopeful tliough it 
might be, was sufficient to alarm the Council of State 
at AVhitehall, and it was determined to send a force 
under Cromwell to stop it. On the 16th of July he 
crossed the Tweed with an army of sixteen thousand 
men, trained veterans, and strong in artillery and 
cavalry. Cromwell was fresh from his bloody career 
in Ireland. We now know that he would not have 
dealt with the Lowland Scots as with the Celts — the 
etiquette of war forbade it. But the fame of the acts 
he had committed naturally spread terror among the 
peasantry not fully instructed in the exclusion of a 
population like the Irish from the courtesies of war. 
The general alarm joining with a spirit of loyalty, 
and a strong antipathy to the " sectaries," j)roduced 
perhaps the oddest effect ever occasioned by conditions 
of danger. A large body had flocked, as of old, to the 
national standard. Among these it was discovered by 
the predominant party that there were many Malig- 
nants and other persons excluded by the Act of 
Classes. They must be rid of these if their enterprise 
was not to be fundamentally cursed. Thus they 
drove away, as an astonished looker-on tells us, four 
thousand men, and these, as old experienced soldiers. 

Cromwell's invasion, 1650. 265 

the best in their army.^ After this purification they 
experienced such relief and self-reliance as a man 
heretofore in evil health may feel when his constitu- 
tion has proved sound enough to discard some depress- 
ing morbid symptom. Some territorial potentates 
offered to bring forth their followers as independent 
auxiliaries, but as they belonged to the excluded 
classes their co-operation was sternly abjured. An- 
other element of danger, too, must be removed, for the 
absolute purification of that host — the young man 
Charles Stewart. True, they had engaged with him 
to be their Covenanted kins;, and it mig-ht be said that 
they were going to fight for his cause. But a heavy 
burden lay upon his race in the sins of his father and 
the idolatry of his mother. For himself, he had not 
yet been tried. It might be that he was to become 
the king who would rule over them. But in the mean 
time, when God was to decide between them and the 
sectaries, it was not safe to retain such a possible 
cause of wrath in their camp, and he was compelled 
to retire. 

Old Leven was commander of the army, but so far 
as the arm of the flesh was entitled to reliance it was 
on his nephew David. The strategy adopted was to 
make the Border districts a desert, as in the old wars 
with England ; and the terror following Cromwell's 
Irish war made it easy to get the people to co-operate 
in such a policy. It was easy to persuade all of them 
who were sound Covenanters that there could be no 
madness or villany of which the army " of sectaries 
and blasphemers" was incapable ; and those of the 
Borderers who were Cavaliers and Royalists would 

1 Walker, 165. 


scarcely welcome the invaders. It was to no purpose 
tliat the general issued a proclamation " to all that 
are saints and partakers of the faith of God's elect 
in Scotland "■ — this would only pass for blasphemous 
mockery in those that were coming to strike the real 
saints with the edge of the sword. The Scots might 
have easily fortified Cockburnspath and the other deep 
gorges running from the Lammermuir Hills to the 
sea, but Cromwell was too prompt for them. Never 
in any of the invasions of Scotland was this strong 
position held — a position about which Cromwell him- 
self expressively, though not in very good English, 
said, " Ten men to hinder is better than forty to 
make." It afforded this advantage, that an army 
crossing the flat elevated plain through which these 
gorges cut, Avould, if they were held by ever so small 
a force, have to make a flank-march over a tract of 
hill and moorland where there were no roads. For 
the first time we hear, after Cromwell had passed them, 
of these points of defence being guarded, and it was 
for the purpose, rendered unnecessary, of intercepting 
his retreat back to England. 

Of the two armies thus drawing to a conclusion 
with each other, the one did not entirely consist of Eng- 
lishmen or the other of Scotsmen; but the spirit of 
England and Scotland were severally represented in 
them. In both there was much of what might be 
called piety, zeal, or fanaticism, according to the hu- 
mour of the person criticising ; and some maintained 
that in both there was a strong leaven of hypocrisy. 
The seriously religious, both in England and Scotland, 
were broken up into various groujjs, with elements of 
difference great or small. But the effect of this diver- 

Cromwell's invasion, 1650. 267 

gence was curiously different in the two countries. In 
Scotland one party was strong enough to stand aloof, 
taking all the power of Church, State, and army into 
its hands, and driving forth all who would not accept 
its articles of faith and Church o-overnmeut to the 
utmost. In Euo-land, on the other hand, the " bound- 
less toleration" ao;ainst which the Scots railed so 
vehemently, united all together in one compact mass 
for civil and military purposes. 

The contest that was becoming inevitable was 
eminently critical. Had the issue of the battle been 
reversed, the change on the face of history is not 
exactly to be defined ; but that it would have been a 
great change is beyond a doubt. It was a crisis on 
which mighty interests centred. Two generals who 
had never been beaten were to face each other, and 
the character of invincibility was inevitably to be lost 
by one of them. Such was the position in a mere 
human and worldly sense, but to the far-seeing the 
issues were infinitely grander. Of two hosts, each 
professing to be the Lord's chosen people, the time 
was at hand when He should choose between them by 
giving the victory to His own. There was no doubt 
that the victors would settle the question in their own 
favour, however the other party might take their 

That they might be prepared for this ordeal, the 
Scots continued earnest in their purification, and the 
discharge from their host of all dangerous elements. 
They had already got rid of a few thousand soldiers 
whose faith was doubtful. But they were in sore 
perplexity touching the young man Charles Stewart^ 
as not knowing what might be the influence on them- 


selves of his dubious early life, the ecclesiastical sins 
of his father, aud his mother's idolatry. A proclama- 
tiou had been issued in his name, in which he pro- 
mised to fulfil all that ever had been demanded of his 
father, announcing that " the Lord hath been pleased 
in His gracious goodness and tender mercy to discover 
to his majesty the great evil of the ways wherein he 
hath been formerly led by wicked counsel." ^ 

Against this document, issued without his consent, 
he demurred. There was immediate indignation and 
alarm in the camp. It was a question whether the 
army should break up and disperse, or make terms 
with the sectaries. They sent a "remonstrance and 
supplication" to the Committee of Estates, setting 
forth that, "being sensible of the imputation laid 
upon the kingdom and army as if they espoused the 
Malignant quarrel and interest, and considering that 
at this time we are more especially concerned in it 
than others, beiuo- in the Lord's streno'th to take our 
lives in our hands and hazard all that is dear unto us 
by engaging against the present enemy, who in a 
hostile Avay hath invaded this kingdom, contrary to 
all bonds of covenants and treaties, — we conceive it our 
duty to make it manifest to their honours and all the 
world that we do not own any Malignant quarrel or 
interest of any person or j)ersons whatsoever, but that 
by the assistance of the Lord we resolve to fight 
merely upon the former grounds and principles in 
defence of the cause of Covenant and kingdom." Still 
the old decorum was preserved of abstaining from 
accusation against royalty itself, and charging all on 
pernicious counsel. They desired the accomplish- 

1 Walker, 163. 


ment of " what remains in the army undone in rela- 
tion to purging," " that God be no more provoked 
by countenancing or sparing of them, lest the Lord 
should desert us and cause us to partake with them 
in their judgments." ^ 

A declaration was prepared, in which all that had 
offended the young king in the proclamation was set 
forth more broadly and offensively. This he must sign. 
It was noticed at the time, that it was presented to him 
in that same Gowrie House Avhere his grandfather had 
encountered so much peril. His advisers bade him 
sign it at once — sign everything. They were like 
persons in the hands of a set of madmen. He must 
do whatever he was bidden or all was lost. Some 
few expressions were permitted to be altered so far 
as to soften their accusative tenor and bring them 
into the category of calamities rather than crimes. 
By a very happy thought a sentence was inscribed 
attributing the misfortunes which had befallen the 
royal house as well as the faithful kingdom of Scot- 
land to the malice of the sectaries. 

The " declaration " is a lengthy document, for it 
was the work of men determined to leave nothins' 
ambiguous or uncertain. Whoever accepted it could 
never afterwards plead that he had misinterpreted its 
full scope. The preamble or text, setting forth the 
principle to which the working details tended, was in 
these words : " He doth now detest and abhor all 
Popery, superstition, and idolatry, together with Pre- 
lacy, and all errors, heresy, schism, and profaneness ; 
and resolves not to tolerate, much less allow of those 
in any part of his majesty's dominions, but to oppose 

1 Walker, 167, 368. 


himself thereto, and endeavour the extwpation thereof 
to the utmost of his power." ^ As to the army of 
sectaries now approaching, the Committee of Estates 
and the Assembly "having sufficiently laid open 
public dangers and duties both upon the right hand 
and upon the left, it is not needful for his majesty to 
add anything thereto except that in those things he 
doth commend and approve them, and that he resolves 
to live and die with them and his loyal subjects in 
prosecution of the ends of the Covenant." ^ 

One small ceremony yet remained to fill the cup. 
The king having signed all the protestations and ob- 
jurgations presented to him, it was needful for him to 
express how he was " desirous to be humbled for the 
sins of the royal family and for his own sins, that God 
may be reconciled unto him ; and that he may give 
evidence of his real loathing of his former ways, and 
of his sincerity in his owning the cause of God and 
the work of reformation." ^ To this desirable end a 
public day of fasting and humiliation was to be held, 
and he was to be the hero of the occasion. 

In the grotesque audacity of such professions we 
can imagine that there must have been something 
infinitely droll and exhilarating to such spirits as 
Buckingham and Wilmot, when they discussed it in 
after-times, away from that dreary land where their 
mirthful communings with the prince were rudely re- 
strained. As for him, there was just one element of 
sincerity planted in his heart by reflecting on the part 
he had been induced to play — a sincere detestation of 
those who had driven him to such humiliation. 

And after all was done, the pui'gation was not so 

1 Walker, 172. " Ibid., 175. » Ibid., 178. 


complete as to make a full intercommuning safe. 
They would not have the young man Charles Stewart 
within their host at the critical moment. Their feel- 
ing seems to have been, that although all were false, 
they might be justified in holding it to be true until 
they found evidence to the contrary — ^justified in not 
departing from the course they had adopted in resist- 
ing the sectaries with a view of supporting him if he 
continued true ; but the having him, possibly false 
and perjured, in their actual host on the day of battle, 
might be too dangerous — it would be tempting the 
vengeance of heaven too rashly.^ They were like 
men who theoretically believe an arrangement to be 
safe, but shrink when they have to trust their lives to 
it. Therefore he was banished from the army and 
detained in courteous restraint in Dunfermline. Be- 
hind all these scrupulous arrangements there lingered 
a suspicion that the " purgation " of the Scots army 
was far aAvay from completeness. Cromwell's men 
were united in a zealous purpose, as that army had 
been which Leslie carried across the Tweed ten years 

1 Cromwell tells us how " some of the honestest in the army among 
the Scots did profess hefore the fight that they did not believe their 
king in his declaration ; and it's most evident he did sign it with as 
much reluctancy and so much against his heart as could be, and yet 
they venture their lives for him on this account, and publish this declara- 
tion to the world to be believed as the act of a person converted, when 
in their hearts they know he abhorred the doing of it and means it not." 
• — Carlyle, ii. 197. He made a general charge against the Estates, that 
their difficulties arose " by espousing your king's interest, and taking 
into your bosom that person in whom, notwithstanding what hath or 
may be said to the contrary, that which is really Malignancy, and all 
Mali"nants do centre ; against whose family the Lord hath so eminently 
witnessed for blood-guiltiness, not to be done away by such hypocritical 
and formal shows of repentance as are expressed in his late declaration." 
—Ibid., 222. 


earlier. The long contest had worn that army thread- 
bare, and Scotland was too meagrely peopled to supply 
army after army of from twenty to thirty thousand 
men. No doubt the whole army subscribed the Cov- 
enant, but the greater part of them would probably 
have subscribed anything else. The zeal was limited 
to the attendant clergy and a few of the lay leaders. 
It seems to have strenothened the reasons for remov- 
ing the young king that he was becoming popular 
among the troops. It was noted that uj)on their 
facings they marked with chalk the letter R for rex, 
and it was apprehended that a spirit of mere personal 
loyalty might supersede the due devotion to Christ's 
crown and Covenant. If we may trust an English 
Royalist onlooker, their staft' of subordinate officers 
was as wretched as it well could be, "placing for the 
most part in command ministers' sons, clerks, and 
such other sanctified creatures, who hardly ever saw 
or heard of any sword but that of the Spirit, — and 
with this, their chosen crew, made themselves sure 
of victory." ^ 

Leslie appeared to handle his army, such as it was, 
to great purpose. He used the wonderful material 
for a fortified camp supplied by the heights near 
Edinburgh. It was desirable to keep both Edinburgh 
and Leith united within the fortified line, that Crom- 
well might not have access to the sea by seizing the 
port of Leith. This line of defence, beginning at the 
Firth to the eastward of Leith, kept the successive 
heights of Hermitage Hill, Hawkhill, Restalrig, the 
Calton Hill, Salisbury Crags, and St Leonards, until 
it came under the protection of the guns of the castle. 

' Walker, 162-04. 

Cromwell's invasion, 1650. 273 

There were some small affairs of outposts, but nothing 
that Cromwell could do would draw Leslie out of his 
strong lair. One of these is thus described by the great 
Cromwell himself, on the occasion of his retiring to 
]\Iusselburgh, where his headquarters were : " We came 
to Musselburgh that night, so tired and wearied for 
want of sleep, and so dirty by reason of the wetness 
of the weather, that we expected the enemy would 
make an onfall upon us ; which accordingly they did 
between three and four of the clock this morning, 
with fifteen of their most select troops, under the 
command of Major-General Montgomery and Strachan, 
two champions of the Church, upon which business 
there was great hope and expectation laid. The 
enemy came on with a great deal of resolution, beat 
in our guards, and put a regiment of horse in some 
disorder ; but our men, speedily taking the alarm, 
charged the enemy, routed them, took many prisoners, 
killed a great many of them, did execution to within 
a quarter of a mile of Edinburgh." " This is a sweet 
beginning of your business, or rather the Lord's, and 
I believe is not very satisfactory to the enemy, especi- 
ally to the Kirk party." " I did not think advisable 
to attempt upon the enemy, lying as he doth ; but 
surely this would sufficiently provoke him to fight if 
he had a mind to it. I do not think he is less than 
six or seven thousand horse and fourteen or fifteen 
thousand foot. The reason I hear that they give out 
to their people why they do not fight us is, because 
they expect many bodies of men out of the north of 
Scotland, which when they come they give out they 
will then engage. But I believe they would rather 
tempt us to attempt them in their fastness within 

VOL. VIJ. s 


which they are intrenchcel, or else hoping we shall 
famish for want of provisions, which is very likely to 
be if we be not timely and fully supplied."^ 

On another occasion, retiring towards the camp at 
Musselburgh, " the enemy perceiving it, and, as we 
conceive, fearing we might interpose between them 
and Edinburgh, though it was not our intention 
albeit it seemed so by our march, retreated back 
again with all haste, having a bog and pass between 
them and us." " That night we quartered within a 
mile of Edinburgh and of the enemy. It was a most 
tempestuous night and wet morning. The enemy 
marched in the night between Leith and Edinburgh, 
to interpose between us and our victual, they know- 
ing that it was spent. But the Lord in mercy pre- 
vented it. And we perceiving in the morning, got 
time enough, through the goodness of the Lord, to 
the sea-side to revictual, the enemy being drawn up 
upon the hill near Arthur Seat, looking upon us but 
not attempting anything."^ The hill " near" Arthur 
Seat must have been the hill itself so called. From 
the top and eastern slope of Arthur Seat all the move- 
ments of Cromwell's army through the flat country 
towards Musselburgh must have been distinctly seen. 
More than a month passed in this fashion, yet Leslie 
would not trust his imperfect army to a battle. 
Cromwell shifted his place on a radius of six miles 
from Edinburgh, at one time going as far west as 
Colinton. Still Leslie either hovered above him, or 
if he took the high ground, was safe on some other 
eminence. The end seemed inevitable — Cromwell 
must either be starved into submission, or must force 

1 Carlyle, ii. 164, 165. - Ibid., 176. 

BATTLE OF DUNBAR, 1650. 275 

his way back, with the certainty that he would carry 
with him but a fragment of his fine army. At the 
end of August he removed to Dunbar. Here he had 
the command of the sea for provisions and munitions, 
and for the removal of his troops were there shipping 
enough at his disposal. All along the east coast there 
is a bank or line of elevated ground, the first slopes of 
the Lammermuirs or other chains of Border mountains. 
Along these slopes marched Leslie, ever above his 
enemy ; and when Cromwell encamped at Dunlaar, 
Leslie was still above him on the Hill of Doon. The 
eye of any one visiting the neighbourhood of Dunbar 
will at once select this hill from all others. It stands 
forward from the range of the Lammermuirs like a 
watch-tower. It is seen to unite the two cjualities 
sought by Leslie — it commands a view of all the low 
land bordering on the sea, and it is the centre roimd 
which every movement of the enemy must describe a 
circumference on which his army could descend. Dun- 
bar itself was a flat peninsula, the hills at Leslie's 
command approaching the coast so closely on the 
south end that there could be no passage without a 
battle at disadvantage. 

On the 2d of September Cromwell wrote to 
Haslerig, who commanded at Newcastle : " We are 
upon an engagement very difficult. The enemy hath 
blocked up our way at the pass at Copperspath, 
through which we cannot get without almost a mir- 
acle. He lieth so upon the hills that we know not 
how to come that way without great difficulty, and 
our lying here daily consumeth our men, who fall 
sick beyond imagination. 

" I perceive your forces are not in a capacity for 


present release. Wherefore, whatever becomes of iis, 
it will be well for you to get what forces you can 
together, and the south to help what they can. The 
business nearly concerns all good people. If your 
forces had been in a readiness to have fallen upon the 
back of Cijpperspath, it might have occasioned supplies 
to have come to us. But the only wise God knows 
what is best. All shall work for good. Our sjjirits 
are comfortable, praised be the Lord, though our pre- 
sent condition be as it is. And indeed we have much 
hope in the Lord, of whose mercy we have had large 
experience." ^ 

It was on that very evening that, to his surprise 
and delight, he observed a movement in the host on 
Doon Hill. They were coming down into the plain ; 
the movement lasted all night, and at dawn of day 
the Scots had relinquished their advantage. It is a 
question whether in this movement Leslie acted on 
his own discretion, or on the dictation of the com- 
mittees from the Estates and the Church who ham- 
pered his camp. To one conversant with the spirit 
of the times nothing seems more natural than this. 
Cromwell being mercifully delivered into their hands, 
it was fitting that they should stretch forth their hands 
and accept of the gift. If such views were canvassed, 
it can easily be believed that Leslie could not keep his 
force together on the mound, and must be content 
to do what he could to preserve them from destruc- 

I Gaily le, ii. 179, 180. 

^ Burnet is the authority generally cited for the interference : 
" Leslie was in the chief conimand ; but he had a committee of the 
Estates to give him his orders, among whom Warriston was one. 
These were weary of lying in the fields, and thought that Leslie made 

BATTLE OF DUNBAR, 1650. 277 

There is a brief account of his calamity by David Les- 
lie himself in a letter to Argyle. If it can be said to 
attribute the defeat to the interference of the com- 
mittees, the shape in which this operated must haA'e 

not haste enougli to destroy those sectaries, for so they came to call 
them. He told them by lying there all was sure, but that by en- 
gaging in action with gallant and desperate men all might be lost ; yet 
they still called on him to fall on. Many have thought that all this 
was treachery done on design to deliver up our army to Cromwell — 
some laying it upon Leslie, and others upon my uncle. I am persuaded 
there was no treachery in it, only Warriston was too hot and Leslie too 
cold, and yielded too easily to their humours, which he ought not to 
have done." — Summary of Affairs. It has recently become a sort of 
historical canon that Burnet is ever to be discredited. He no doubt 
colours and likes to make up a good story ; but he was honest " after a 
manner " — more honest, for instance, than Clarendon. He had good 
means of knowing what lie speaks of here, for the " uncle " he refers to 
was Warriston. 

Burnet was a child seven years old when the battle was fought ; he 
was eighteen years old when his uncle Warriston was executed. The 
news of the day as told by Baillie, unpublished in Burnet's day, goes 
far to confirm his account, and affords a pathetic story of practical 
genius thwarted and a cause ruined by self-sufficient intermeddlers : 
" After the woeful rout at Dunbar, in the first meeting at Stirling, it 
was openly and vehemently pressed to have David Leslie laid a-side, as 
long before was designed, but covertly, by the chief purgers of the 
times. The man himself did as much press as any to have liberty to 
demit his charge, being covered with shame and discouragement for his 
late unhappiness, and irritated with Mr James Guthrie's public invec- 
tives against him from the pulpit. The most of the commission of 
Estates and committee of the Kirk would have been content to let him 
go ; but finding no man tolerably able to supply his place, and the 
greatest part of the remaining oflicers of horse and foot peremptor to 
lay down if he continued not — and after all trials finding no malad- 
ministration on him to count of but the removal of the army from the 
hill the night before the rout, \\hich yet was a consequence of the 
committee's order, contrar to his mind, to stop the enemy's retreat, and 
for that end to storm Brocksmouth House as soon as possible, — on these 
considerations the State unanimously did with all earnestness entreat him 
to keep still his charge. Against this order my Lord Warriston, and, I 
suppose. Sir John Chiesly, did enter their dissent. I am sure Mr James 
Guthrie did his, at which, as a great impertinence, many were offended." 
— Letters, &c., iii. 111. Sir Edward Walker does not mention the inter- 
ference of the committees on this occasion, but on another he refers 


l)een in weakening the sense of obedience and dis- 
cipline in the subordinate commanders : " Concerning 
the misfortune of our army I shall say nothing but it 
was the visible hand of God, with our own laikness, 
and not of man that defeat them, notwithstanding 
of orders given to stand to their arms that night. I 
know I got my own share of the fall by many for 
drawing them so near the enemy, and must suffer 
for this as many times formerly, though I take God 
to witness we might have as easily beaten them as we 
did James Graham at Philiphaugh, if the officers had 
stayed by their troops and regiments."-^ 

Cromwell had at hand two men whose fame as 
soldiers Avas second only to his own — Monk and 
Lambert. The three watched Leslie's movement as 
well as they could, for to conceal it as well as he 
might he had ordered the musketeers to extinguish 
their matches. Cromwell watched the point of time 
at which the amount of daylight and the condition of 
his enemy, as having left the hill without being well 
formed below, concurred in his favour, and then struck 
the blow. The effect of the attack was an index to 
Leslie's opinion of his OAvn army. The lines intrusted 
with the front stood firm and were slain. The great 
half-disciplined mass behind broke and scattered. The 
defeat was entire. The victor rendered an account of 
it in the words following : — 

to them as having absolute command. It was employed in preventing 
Leslie from attacking when he would : " The committee would not give 
way to attempt on him, saying it were pity to destroy so many of their 
brethren ; but seeing the next day they were like to fall into their 
hands, it were better to get a dry victory, and send them back with 
shame for their breach of covenant." — P. 180. 

' Copied from the original in the Lothian Papers, through the courtesy 
of the Marquess of Lothian. 

BATTLE OF DUNBAR, 1650. 279 

" The enemy's word was ' The Covenant ! ' which it 
had been for divers days ; ours ' The Lord of hosts ! ' 
The Major -General, Lieutenant -G-eneral Fleetwood, 
and Commissary - General Whalley and Colonel 
Twistleton gave the onset, the enemy being in a 
very good posture to receive them, having the advan- 
tage of their cannon and foot against our horse. 
Before our foot could come up, the enemy made a 
gallant resistance, and there was a very hot dispute 
at sword's point between our horse and theirs. Our 
first foot, after they had discharged their duty (being- 
overpowered with the enemy), received some repulse, 
which they soon recovered ; for my own regiment, 
under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Gofte and 
my major AVhite, did come seasonably in, and at 
the push of pike did repel the stoutest regiment the 
enemy had there, merely with the courage the Lord 
was pleased to give. Which proved a great amaze- 
ment to the residue of their foot, this being the first 
action between the foot. The horse in the mean time 
did Avith a great deal of courage and spirit beat back 
all oppositions, charging through the bodies of the 
enemy's horse and of their foot, who were, after the 
first repulse given, made by the Lord of hosts as 
stubble to their swords. Lrdeed I believe I may 
speak it without partiality, both your chief com- 
manders and others in their several places, and 
soldiers also, were acted with as much courage as 
ever hath been seen in any action since this war. 
I know they look not to be named, and therefore 
I forbear particulars. 

" The best of the enemy's horse being broken through 
and through in less than an hour's dispute, their 


whole army being put into confusion, it became a total 
rout, our men having the chase and execution of them 
near eight miles. We believe that upon the place 
and near about it were about three thousand slain. 
Prisoners taken : of their officers you have this en- 
closed list ; of private soldiers near ten thousand. The 
Avhole baggage and train taken, wherein was good 
store of match, powder, and bullet ; all their artillery, 
great and small, thirty guns. We are confident they 
have left behind them not less than fifteen thousand 
arms. I have already brought in to me near two 
hundred colours, which I herewith send you." ^ 

This battle, fought on the 3d of September 16.50, 
concludes an epoch in our history. The ecclesiastical 
parties retain their picturesque peculiarities and their 
bitterness. Tragic incidents occur, born of treachery 
and cruelty on the one side and rugged fanaticism on 
the other. But that momentous exercise of power 
which had endowed these peculiarities Avith a certain 
awe and dignity is gone, and hereafter these parties 
have a merely local history. The breadth of influence, 
indeed, achieved by Scotland during the years just 
passed over, is an anomaly in history. According to 
the usual course of events, Scotland, for the eighty 
years now come to a close, should have possessed no 
separate national history. When Edinburgh Castle 
was taken in 1.573, the nationality of Scotland was 
provisionally at an cud — provisionally so — that is, 
the permanence of the situation depended on King 
James succeeding to the throne of England. He did 
so, and thus the condition was confirmed and perma- 
nent. The old league with France was at an end, 

1 Carlyle, ii. 191, 192. 


BATTLE OF DUNBAR, 1650. 281 

and Scotland's lot Avas thro^vn in with England's. It 
was not that the influence of Scotland was to be anni- 
hilated — it would tell in the national policy, like the 
influence of the northern counties of Enoland against 
London and the south. But in the natural order of 
things, Scotland was no longer to put her separate 
mark on tlie politics and history of the day. It hap- 
pened otherwise, as we have seen. Of the two States 
united, the small State had ardour and strength 
sufficient to drag the large State along with it ; for 
Scotland began the contest which, after becoming so 
memorable in British history, influenced the fate of 
the whole civilised world. 

After the heat of battle had let itself out in the 
" chase and execution " of nearly eight miles, the con- 
queror showed a temper of humanity and lenity to 
the wounded and the prisoners. It was not to be a 
continuation of the Irish work. The Lowland Scots 
Avere not enemies of God and civilised man, whose 
doom was extirpation. Their hostility was the inci- 
dental effect of political conditions, and with their 
invaders they had many common ties of brotherhood. 
The battle of Dunbar gave Cromwell the command of 
the open country south of the Forth, Edinburgh Castle 
and the other fortresses remaining in the hands of the 
Committee of Estates. 

Accompanying and following this decisive battle 
Avas a very undecisive Avar of Avords. It Avas matter 
of derision to the indifferent or irreverent onlooker, 
who saw a competition betAveen the general of the 
Independents and the clergy of the Covenant, in 
which the point of advantage appeared to be the 
excelling in the use of fanatical and Pharisaical Ian- 


guage. AVhether or not Cromwell was the arcli-liypo- 
crite he has been called, the indifFerent bystander 
is apt to sympathise with his cause, since, while he 
girds himself valiantly for the fight, and is as vigor- 
ously pious as his opponents, he does not think, like 
them, that true piety is a monojjoly of his own sect. 
One might be tempted to quote at length from this 
controversy, but there is one short precept uttered 
by Cromwell against his assailants so complete and 
powerful that it were a pity to mix it up with any 
other passages. He asks if it is certain that all his 
opponents say is " infallibly agreeable to the Word 
of God ; " and then follows the grand precept : "I 
beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible 
you may be mistaken." ^ 

One standing and predominating element in the 
controversy was tlie lay preaching, which had become 
a favourite occupation of the Independent soldiers. 
On this he rated his clerical opponents powerfully : 
" Are you troubled that Christ is preached ? Is 
preaching so peculiarly your function 1 Doth it 
scandalise the Reformed Churches, and Scotland in 
particular 1 Is it against the Covenant 1 Away with 
the Covenant if this be so ! " " Your pretended fear 
lest error should step in, is like the man who would 
keep all the wine out of the country lest men should 
be drunk. It will be found an unjust and unwise 
jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon 
a supposition he may abuse it. When he doth abuse 
it, judge. If a man speak foolishly, ye suflfer him 
gladly, because ye are wise ; if erroneously, the truth 
more appears by your conviction. Stop such a man's 

^ Carlyle, ii. 168, 169. 


mouth by sound words which cannot be gainsaid. If 
he speak bLasphemously, or to the disturbance of the 
public peace, let the civil magistrate punish him ; if 
truly, rejoice in the truth." ^ 

Such things must have opened up new avenues of 
thought and controversy to men whose polemical 
training had been all in the tactics of warfare against 
Popery and Prelacy. 

There was another point where, on the face of the 
controversy, Cromwell appeared to bear himself chari- 
tably and reasonably. A group of the ministers had 
taken refuge in Edinburgh Castle. He thought it 
might be more to the purpose that they were among 
their flocks in the performance of their pious duties. 
But they declined to trust themselves abroad in a land 
infested by sectaries and blasphemers. Dundas, the 
governor — Leven's son-in-law — was their first spokes- 
man ; and he naturally attributed their reluctance to 
timidity, referring to the usage given to ministers in 
England and Ireland. Cromwell's answer was : " No 
man hath been troubled in England or Ireland for 
preaching the Gospel ; nor has any minister been 
molested in Scotland since the coming of the army 
hither." ^ Words of truth, since it was not " for 
preaching the Gospel " that he left his bloody mark 
on Ireland. In a second letter, embodying the views 
of the ministers, they revealed their true grievance — 
that the sectaries would not permit them to take the 
command of the affairs of the country, or speak their 
minds about the sectaries and other evil - doers : 
" That it savours not of ingenuity to promise liberty 
of preaching the Gospel, and to limit the preachers 

' Carlyle, ii. 20. ' Ibid., 205. 


thereof that they must not speak against tlie sins and 
enormities of civil powers, since their commission 
carrieth them to speak the Word of the Lord unto 
and to reprove the sins of persons of all ranks, from 
the highest to the lowest. " ^ 

Cromwell and they afterwards found a good deal 
of common ground to meet on ; and if he had only 
favoured them on one point — if he had abjured that 
" damnable doctrine of toleration " — they might have 
been excellent friends. Even the embittered and 
sorely afflicted heart of Baillie was touched by the 
unexpected gentleness of the terrible sectarian. On 
his arrival in Glasgow " the ministers and magistrates 
flee all away. I got to the Isle of Cumbrae with my 
Lady Montgomery, but left all my family and goods 
to Cromwell's courtesy, which indeed was great; for 
he took such a course with his sojours that they did 
less displeasure at Glasgow nor if they had been at 
London, though Mr Zachary Boyd railed on them all 
to their very face in the High Church." ^ 

Let us now look in upon the young king or prince, 
and his small court or jail at Dunfermline, afterwards 
shifted to Perth. If his heart was not changed, it was 
from no deficiency of the preaching, pi'ayer, exhortation, 
admonition, and all the apparatus of persuasion and 
threats available to the Covenanting community. Of 
the tone in which it was rendered we have perhaps 
seen examples more than enough. Of its effect those 
who dealt with it had a startling opportunity of judg- 
ing. One morning — the 4th of October — they found, 
to their consternation, that he had escaped. There 
was immediate chase, and he was fouud in the wilds 

1 Carlyle, ii. 207. '■' Letters, iii. 129. Of Mr Zucliary, see above, p. 225. 


of AthoU, desolate as a truant schoolboy who has run 
from his home without forecasting a place of refuge. 
There was, in fact, a plan, deep and formidable in its 
way, for gathering round him a loyal army of north 
Highlanders ; but he went to the spot where he was 
to meet their chiefs too soon, and lost his opportunity. 

On his return it was resolved that if his friends 
were to keep him, it should be in a shape available 
for political purposes by making him King. Arrange- 
ments were accordingly made for crowning him in 
Scone, where so many of his gallant ancestors had 
been anointed. 

The 1st of January 16.51 was the day appointed 
for the ceremon}', and with one exception it was 
performed with all state and magnificence ; for the 
" honours " of Scotland — the crown, SAVord, and scep- 
tre — were at hand, and those who filled the ofiices of 
State in attendance. Argyle took precedence, and 
placed the crown on the king's head. The occasion 
was improved by Eobert Douglas in a sermon which 
in this age would be deemed of monstrous length.^ 

The preacher lifted his protest alike against 
Engagers who co-operated with the uncovenanted, 
the Kemonstrants, who followed their own factious 
ends, and the Sectaries, who were for no monarchy. 
In his sermon, too, and a personal exhortation by 
which it was followed, he enlarged emphatically on 
the parental sins, which were to be repented of and 
avoided if the new monarch would escape wrath and 

1 The Form and Order of the Coronation of Charles the Second, King 
of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, as it was acted and done at 
Scone the 1st day of January 1651. Printed at Aberdeen in 1651. 

^ Douglas had, according to tradition, an origin that also admitted of 


The part omitted was the auointing. This omission 
was improved by the preacher, who referred to the 
unction as a rag of Popish and Prelatical superstition. 
Now, however, " by the blessing of God, Popery and 
Prelacy are removed. The bishops, as limbs of Anti- 
christ, are put to the door ; let the anointing of kings 
with oU go to the door with them." To compensate 
for this omission, the National Covenant and the 
Solemn League and Covenant were read over to the 
king, and again signed by him. 

A new army now assembled under new conditions. 
To find these we must again grope our way through 
ecclesiastic intricacies. Half Scotland was occupied at 
that time in an attempt to solve the lesson intended to 
be taught in the defeat at Dunbar — the meaning of the 
Lord in His dealing with them, as it was termed. A 
looker - on with strong Prelatic prepossessions said : 
" There was great lamentation by the ministers, who 
now told God Almighty it was little to them to lose 
their lives and estates, but to Him it was great loss to 
suffer His elect and chosen to be destroyed, and many 
other such blasphemous expressions ; and still crying 
out not to take in any of the Engagers, or to assert the 
kingdom of Christ by carnal or selfish means." ^ Crom- 
well threw back upon them, in theii- own peculiar style, 
but somewhat enriched and strengthened, some jeering 
taunts on the tendency of the lesson : " Although they 

repentance for ancestral sins. He was supposed to be the grandson of 
George Douglas and Queen Mary — a sequel to the scandal referred to 
aljove. He was called by Woibow " a great State preacher." He had 
been chaplain of the Scots troops in the service of Qustavus Adolphus, 
who esteemed him much. We shall meet with him as the colleague of 
James Sharp on a mission to the Court at the period of the Restoration. 
1 Walker, 183. 

CAUSES OF WRATH, 1650-51. 287 

seem to comfort themselves with being sons of Jacob, 
from whom they say God hath hid His face for a time, 
yet it's no wonder, when tlie Lord hath lifted up His 
hand so eminently against a family as He hath done 
so often against this, and men will not see His hand 
— it's no wonder if the Lord hide His face from such 
putting Him to shame, both for it and their hatred of 
His people as it is this day." ^ 

Here he touched a point on which many were per- 
plexedly meditating and doubting. Was it possible 
that after all they were on the wrong side ? They had 
asserted vehemently and positively that the defeat of 
Hamilton's army at Preston was a judgment for the 
adoption of the Engagement. And what of this 
heavier defeat ? Immediately after the battle, and 
before the doubters had made up their minds to speak 
out, the General Assembly decreed a clay of fasting 
and humiliation : it was to be held on the 15tli of 
September ; and an edict was issued, called " Causes 
of solemn public humiliation upon the defeat of our 
army, to be kept through all the Congregation of Scot- 
land." In this paper distinct " causes of The Lord's 
wrath " were stated, to the number in all of fourteen. 
They were all attributed to insufficiency of purgation ; 
and, what is especially odd when one remembers how 
many things at that time were taken for granted with- 
out examination to find whether they existed or not, 
the insufficiencies were generally accidental through 
negligence, not from false intention. In fact the 
report on the causes of the Lord's dealing at Duubar 
resembles a report on a railway accident or the ex- 
plosion of a powder-manufactory, explaining how it 

1 Carlyle, ii. 206. 


has been caused Ijy neglect of the regulated precau- 
tions. Taken as one instance, perhaps the most 
serious of the defects on this occasion was " the 
leaving of a most malignant and profane guard of 
horse to he about the king, and Avho being sent for to 
be purged, came two days before the defeat, and were 
suffered to be and fight in our army." ^ Baillie, 
whose zeal was mingled with sense and worldly 
experience, tells a friend how he escaped responsibility 
as to the acceptance of these articles. " The Lord," 
he says, " in a very sensible way to me carried it so, 
that neither the Synod was troubled with me, nor the 
peace of my mind by them. I once inclined to absent 
myself, but behoved to return, not daring to take that 
course." But the course was taken for him ; he was 
called out to speak with the Lord Cassilis on business 
— the business occupied his mind, the time passed 
unnoted, and when he returned all had been voted. 
Baillie was writing to his close friends Dickson and 
Spang, and so he reveals some weaknesses affecting 
his own favourite system of Church government, when 
some " did bring forth that strange remonstrance of 
the Synod, when Mr Patrick, obtaining a committee to 
consider the sins procuring the wrath of God on the 
land, did put such men on it as he liked best, and by 
them the framing of the draught was put upon him- 
self;" which gives opportunity for this commentary : 
" I have oft regretted of late to see the judicatories 
of the Church so easily led to whatever some few of 
our busy men designed, but never more than in the 
particLdar in hand."^ 

The " Causes of The Lord's wrath " became a cele- 

' Walker, 184; Peterkin's Records, 600. ^ Letters, iii. 115. 

CAUSES OF WRATH, 1650-55. 289 

brated paper, as in after-years it was made a test of guilt, 
— those who had given it positive support having com- 
mitted an overt act of treason ag-ainst Kinof Charles II. 

Others went farther than Baillie in dissent from 
this standard, and thought it lawful in the extremity 
to use such forces as were available. These were 
called " Eesolutioners," as those who were parties to 
resolutions for admission to public office, civil or 
military, of those who had been included in the Act 
of Classes. They acted rather in tacit understanding 
than by open testimony ; and it is in the protestations 
and remonstrances uttered against them, rather than 
in their own account of themselves, that they stand 
forth as the supporters of a special policy. In the 
"sense of the Parliament" dealing with objections, 
the new policy is defined in these hesitating terms. 
" We have in this time of extreme dano-er to the cause 
and kino-dom, after advice had from the commissioners 
of the General Assembly, admitted many who were 
formerly excluded to be employed in the army in this 
defensive war against the army of sectaries, who, con- 
trary to covenant and treaties, have most perfidiously 
invaded and are destroying this kingdom, not daring 
to omit so necessary a duty for fear of a future danger 
which may ensue upon the employment of such." ^ 
Baillie, who affords so many clear pictures of his 
times, loses his distinctness at this juncture, and lets 
us feel the perplexities of himself and others in the 
mistiness of his revelations : — 

" We had long much debates about employing Ma- 
lignants in our arms. Some were of opinion that the 
Acts of Church and State were unjust and for par- 

1 Act. Pari. (01(1 Record Ed.), vi. 555. 


ticiiliii- cuds froiii l1i<; \>r'n\\u\u</. All iiffrccd tliiil, 
coiumon KuldliTS, ;ii'Lcf HiitiHfiiciiiin In ihc, (, 
mi;i;lil- 1)C tiikcn in. Iliii iis for odlccrH, nolilc.incn, ii.nd 
<i;riil,lciii(;n voluiiiccrH, llicy W(M'c. tioI, to ho tidccii In ;ij, 
all, at IciiHt not wiihout iiii<; (ariincnl, dcnrcu; of evident 

" 'I'lic nioHt tliouf^lit tlic.y rni^dit ]>(', <'ni|iloyc(l ii,n 
soldiers, on tlicir lulniil.tiuice liy tlio ('liurnli to tlic 
Ba('i';i,rnciit iuid CyOV<;nii,nt. As (or placcH oC (•onnscl 
and, trust, tliii.t this wii.s to Ik; left to tlics StiiXe's dis- 
ci-iJlon. JIfjwovcr, when the case w;i,s clearly idtci'c.d, 
and now there was jjo choici; of men, the l'a,r'liarnciit 
wrote; to Mr Itfjljci't l)oii;ilii,H to ca,ll the eorfiiiiiHHi(j|] 
extraordinarily : a qnoruni was gol,, most of thcHc of 
J^'ife. 'I'he (juestion was jirojioncd, of th<; la.wrulncHH 
of employing such who hefon; were excluded. The 
question was alleeed to he, altered from tliaJ, which 
Mr fJillespie writes of, a.nd that whereto Mr fJuthrie 
had sf^ilenuijv eufa/icd —a defence; of our life a,nd 
country, in exti-eiue necessity, a.fia,in,st secl.aria.ns and 
strangers, who ha,d twice been victors. My heaxt wa.n 
in gn;at p(;rplexity for this question. I was much in 
j)rayer to (<od, and irj sfinie action with men, for a 
concord in it. 'J'he Parliament were necessita,te to 
employ more than hefon;, oi' give over their defence 
Mr iSamuel Jiutherford and Mr. James Guthrie wroti; 
peremptory letters to the old way, on all liazards. 
Mr Robert Dou^jlas a,nd Mr l)a,vi<l l)ick had ol' a 
long time fjeen in my sense, that in the war agajust 
invading strangers our fotTuer Htrietness ha,d hcc.n 
unadvised a,nd unjust. Mr j^lair and Mr JJurharn 
wer<; a little amhiguous, which J rnucli fea,ref] should 
have devised the cornniisHion; and likely had done so. 

CAUSES OF WRATH, 1650-55. 291 

if witli the loss of the west the absence of all the 
brethren of the west had not concurred. However, 
we carried ■unanimously at last the answer herewith 
sent to you. My joy for this was soon tempered 
when I saw the consequence — the ugging of sundry 
good people to see numbers of grievous bloodshedders 
ready to come in, and so many I\Ialignant noblemen 
as were not Hke to lay down arms till they were put 
into some places of trust, and restored to their vote in 
Parliament." ^ 

Agaia : — • 

" Ane other inconvenient was like to trouble us, 
a seed of hyper-BroT\Tiism, which had been secretly 
sown in the miads of sundiy of the soldiers, that it 
was unlawful to join in arms with such and such men, 
and so that they were necessitate to make a civd 
separation from such, for fear of sin and cursing of 
their enterprises. The main fomenters of these doubts 
seemed not at all to be led by conscience, but by 
interest ; for the officers of our standing army, since 
the defeat at Dunbar, being sent to recruit the regi- 
ments to the northern shires, did little increase that 
number, but taking large money for men, and yet 
exacted quarters for men which were not ; this 
vexed the country and disappointed the service. The 
officers, by the new levies, thought it easy to be 
recruited at their pleasure ; but ane Act passing, that 
the new le%des should not recruit the old regiments, 
they stormed, and gladly wotdd have blasted the new 
way for their own ends. Under these evds we wrestle 
as yet, but hopes for a good end of these divisions 
also ; in the mean time Cromwell is daily expected to 

1 Letters, &c., iii. 126. 


march towards Stirling to mar the coronation, which, 
sore against my heart, was delayed to the 1st of 
January, on pretence of keeping a fast for the sins of 
the king's family on Thursday next. AVc mourned 
on Sunday last for the contempt of the Gospel, accord- 
ing to Mr Dickson's motion, branched out by Mr 
Wood. Also you see in the printed papers, upon 
other particulars the commission at Stirling, which 
appointed these fasts, could not agree. The Ee- 
monstrants pressed to have sundry sins acknowledged 
which others denied, and would not now permit them 
to set down as they would what causes of fast they 
liked. Surely we had never more cause of mourning, 
be the causes, what God knows, visible or invisible, 
confessed or denied, unseen or seen, by all but the 
most guilty. It cannot be denied but our miseries 
and dangers of ruin are greater nor for many ages have 
been — a potent victorious enemy master of our seas, 
and for some good time of the best part of our land; 
our standing forces against this his imminent inva- 
sion, few, weak, inconsiderable; our Kirk, State, army, 
full of divisions and jealousies; the body of our people 
bcsouth Forth spoiled, and near starving; they be- 
north Forth extremely ill used by a handful of our 
own ; many inclining to treat and agree with Crom- 
well, without care either of king or Covenant ; none of 
our neighbours called upon by us, or willing to give 
us any help though called. What the end of all shall 
be the Lord knows. Many are ready to faint with 
discouragement and despair; yet diverse are waiting 
on the Lord, expecting He will help us in our great 
extremity against our most unjust ojipressors."^ 

1 Letters, &c., iii. 127, 128. 

THE REMONSTRANTS, 1650-51. 293 

So, had the western representatives been present, the 
dubious policy of the " Eesolutioners " would probably 
have been outvoted. These western people drew apart 
and uttered their own testimony in a " remonstrance." 
Like so many of the papers of the day, those who 
composed it took the opportunity of setting forth a 
general code of policy both for Church and State ; but 
when they touched on existing politics their utterance 
was clear and unmistakable — a thorough contrast to 
the hazy talk of the Resolutionists. Their position 
was, that the young man Charles Stewart was not at 
heart a sound Covenanter, and they who pretended to 
believe he was a sound Covenanter knew that he was 
not.^ Henceforth these men stood apart as a peculiar 
people. They were called " Eemonstrants," and some- 
times " Protesters," and in later times " the wild west- 
land Whigs." It was their doom ever to be unfor- 
tunate. It was not that they could possibly be in the 
wrong, but the Lord had hidden His face from them 
on account of the iniquity of the times. We shall 
hear of them twenty years later, with all their pecu- 
liai'ities hardened into them by the fire of persecution. 
Meanwhile they raised a considerable army. It was 
commanded by Colonel Archibald Strachan, an aljle 
soldier — the same who led the party against Montrose 
in Eoss-shire. It is singular that of this man, who 
seemed for a few months to have the destinies of the 
country in his keeping, so little should be known. 
His name is not to be found in any biographical dic- 
tionary. He went just a step beyond the place as- 
sio-ned for " Scots worthies," and so was neither com- 


1 " The humble Remonstrance of the Gentlemen, Commander, and 
Ministers attending the Forces in the Wust ; " Peterkin, 604. 


tnemorated as friend nor enemy. It appears that lie 
belonged to a class very acceptable to the zealous at 
all times. He was an awakened sinner — one of those 
whose early life was burdened with such a weight of 
sin that they feel as if all the world ought to do pen- 
ance for it. If he joined either the king or Cromwell, 
it would alter the face of the contest; but he kept 
aloof from both. It was observed that he put himself 
out of the way of either, by taking his stand at Dum- 
fries, in the south-western extremity of the country. 
Though a party of his followers had a skirmish with 
a part of Cromwell's army near Hamilton, yet he was 
suspected of favouring the sectaries. "Since the 
amendment of his once very low life," says Baillie, 
" he inclined much in opinion towards the sectaries ; 
and having joined with Cromwell at Preston against 
the Engagers, had continued with them to the king's 
death." This was an occasion on which it was an 
offence to be on either side. He was brought to 
" content the commission of the Church for his error," 
but "at this time many of his old doubts revives in 
him." ^ The records of Parliament would make his 
conduct less doubtful, if we could believe in them. It 
is observable that the Estates met at Perth, with the 
king at their head, passing with all solemnity many 
Acts which dropped into oblivion. They took the 
initial steps of a prosecution against Strachan, as an 
abettor of the enemy, along with Dundas, who had 
traitorously, as they held, rendered Edinburgh Castle 
to the sectaries.^ 

1 Baillie's Letters, iii. 112, 113. 

^ Summons against Colonel Archibald Strachan, Walter Dundas of 
that ilk, and others; Acts, vi. 548. 


Wodrow had it from his wife's uncle, the husband 
of Strachan's sister, that " he was a singular Christian ; 
that he was excommunicate summarily for his leaving 
them [with] the forces at Hamilton ; that his heart 
was much broken with that sentence, and he sickened 
and died within a while ; that he was so far from 
being upon Cromwell's interest, that he had the greatest 
offers made him by Cromwell, and refused them ; that 
he had the general's place offered him of all Crom- 
well's forces in Scotland, and refused it." ^ 

To whatever direction his intentions tended, fate 
took the decision out of his hands. The army group- 
ing round the king enlarged, and under David Leslie 
they fortified themselves on the height between Stir- 
ling and Falkirk, renowned in the days of Wallace as 
the Tor Wood. In vain Cromwell endeavoured to draw 
them out to battle. At length, after watching them 
for several months, he determined to take his own 
post at the other side of the king's. He crossed the 
Forth at Queensferry, and beating a force Avhich at- 
tempted to intercept him at Inverkeithing, reached 
and occupied Perth. The way southward was now 
open, and the royal army did an act of unexpected 
decision and spirit. Silently and speedily they 
marched into England. It was the same strategy 
that brought Montrose to Scotland seven years earlier 
— the enemy's army was absent at the other end of 
the island. They passed through Yorkshire and be- 
yond Staffordshire, a moving centre to which the 
Royalists of England were expected to gravitate, but 
these came only in small numbers. 

It was of course obvious to Cromwell, that unless 

^ Analecta, ii. 86. 


this small army were speedily sought and destroyed, 
it would reach London, where it might enlarge itself 
and renew the war in earnest. They had reached 
Worcester before he overtook them. Here, unless they 
could occupy some strong post on the Malvern Hills, 
it was clear that Worcester itself was the safest spot 
for a stand : it had a wall, with Gothic gates, strongly 
defensible before the days of artillery, and between 
them and the enemy was the rapid Severn. Nowhere 
else in the low country was there a post so defensible. 
The king and his attendants from the cathedral tower 
saw the enemy making a bridge of boats across the 
Severn where the Teme joins it a little way below the 
town. A party was sent to stop the making of the 
bridge ; but it was either too late or too feeble for its 
purjDose, and was driven back. This bridge united 
Cromwell and Fleetwood. The Scots made their chief 
stand at the Sudbury Gate — probably a large Gothic 
building like its neighbour, Edgar's Gate, still visible. 
The Scots occupied the castle, where, according to 
Cromwell himself, they " made a very considerable 
fight Avith us for three hours' space," until they were 
driven from it and its guns turned on them. While 
they continu.ed the fight at Sudbury Gate, the king, 
who saw what the event was to be, made his escape 
with a few personal followers. His army was anni- 
hilated. This battle was fought on the 3d of Septem- 
ber 1651, the first anniversary of the battle of Dunbar. 
"Indeed," says the victor, "this hath been a glorious 
mercy, and as stifi" a contest for four or five hours as 
I have ever seen." So ended the great civil war. It 
was begun by the Scots — they partook in the first great 
victory over the royal party, and here they shared its 

SIEGE OF DUNDEE, 1651. 297 

last battle and its conclusive defeat. Among the cap- 
tives taken in the retreat or flight were David Leslie, 
and ]\Iiddleton who became conspicuous in the reign 
of Charles II. 

]\Ionk was left in Scotland in command of five 
thousand men — a sufficient force to remove all im- 
pediments, now that Scotland was so drained of men, 
and that Edinburgh Castle had fallen. In Stirling 
Castle was found a deposit of public records, which 
were removed to the Tower of London. The fate of 
Dundee has attracted a mysterious and horrible inter- 
est. Two days before the battle of Worcester it was 
stormed. We are told that its large garrison was 
"put to the edge of the sword," and that the inhabi- 
tants — men and women, old and young — were miscel- 
laneously slaughtered. It was one of the privileges or 
"courtesies" established in the Thirty Years' War, that 
if a town held out against a storm, it was handed over 
to the licence of the soldiers, who slaughtered and 
pillaged, as we may see in Callot's etchings. But the 
enemy who had any chivalry in his nature permitted 
all the unwarlike inhabitants to be removed before the 
storming. Wanton cruelty was not one of Monk's 
vices ; and had the storming of Dundee been such a 
deed as some have described, it would have hung more 
weightily on his memory, and been more frequently 
referred to in contemporary history than it has been. 
There is nothing in local record to confirm the aggra- 
vations, and anticjuaries have in vain tried to find 
where the crowd of sufferers was buried.^ 

' Thomson's History of Dundee, 72. Thongli local record gives no 
assistance to the storj', local tradition— the parent of lies— gives ample 
contribution to it : " It is a tradition here that the carnage did not cease 


Dundee had been selected as a city of refuge by 
those who had been driven out of Edinburgh, Glasgow, 
and Perth. When seeking safety there they took with 
them their valuable movables. Hence the town was 
a centre of critical interest to both parties. When 
Monk threatened the place, the Committee of Estates 
went in a body to arrange for its defence, and probably 
to get within its defences. They were at Alyth, a 
village in a hilly country some fifteen miles from 
Dundee. Monk sent five hundred horse under Colonel 
Aldriche to eject them, and it was noticed that in that 
force there were Scotsmen who knew the ways through 
the mountains, and served, as guides. •'■ 

It appears that when summoned to surrender, 

till the third da}-, when a child was seen in a lane called the Thester 
Row sucking its murdered mother." — Old Stat. Account, viii. 212. Mr 
Stuart Wortle}^, in his notes to Guizot's Memoirs of Monk, says : 
" Monk is charged with this atrocity on the authority of Ludlow, who 
says that he commanded the governor and others to be killed in cold 
blood. But we must recollect that Ludlow wrote long after (he finished 
his Memoirs in 1699) at a distance (for he wrote in Switzerland), and 
apparently, b}' internal evidence, very much from recollection. More- 
over, Monk was one of those by whom he had ' seen their cause be- 
trayed,' as he expresses it in his opening sentence ; and he had a strong 
dislike to him, which often appears." — P. 61. Though not supported by 
Whitelocke, Clarendon, Baillie, or Baker, however, Ludlow's is not the 
only testimony to the charge. It is given hy Sir James Balfour, the 
Lord Lyon, thus : " Monk commanded all, of whatsomever sex, to be 
put to the edge of the sword. The townsmen did no duty in their o'^^^l 
defence, but were most of them all drunken like so many beasts. There 
were eight hundred inhabitants and soldiers killed, and about two hun- 
dred women and children." — Vol. iii. 314. Gumble, Monk's chaplain and 
biographer, improves on this story of the drunkenness. A treacherous 
boy climbed over the wall and told Monk " in what condition the town 
was, that at nine o'clock the strangers and soldiers used to take such 
large morning draughts — whether to make them forget the misery their 
country was in at that time, or their own personal troubles and losses — 
that before the twelfth they were most of them drenched in their cups ; 
but they were more drunk with a vain security and confidence." — P. 43. 
^ Baker's Chronicle, 343. 

SIEGE OF DUNDEE, 1651. 299 

Lvimsden, tlie governor, gave a soldier's haughty 
answer — all he would do for his enemies was to 
give them a pass homewards. He was killed, but, 
as we are told, by a casualty, after it had been re- 
solved to save his life. Every one who has visited 
Dundee must have noticed the church tower or belfry, 
biiilt of massive masonry to a great height, and dark 
and sullen in the absence in the lower stages of win- 
dows or other openings to relieve the monotony of 
the walls. Here the last stand was made, until the de- 
fenders "were smothered out by the burning of straw." ^ 
We may believe that the assailants obtained much 
valuable plunder in the stormed city ; but when it is 
said that it was at the time crowded by people of 
wealth and position, that tends to contradict the story 
of the slaughter, since the fate of such persons would 
be distinctly known.^ 

^ On looking at this building, it will be seen that its mndows have 
been built up at some remote period, and in absence of any other account 
of this closing up, ^Te may presume that it was for the purpose of 
strengthening the post against Monk's attack. Few castles of the day 
were stronger than this ecclesiastical edifice. When it was dra'mi "^^dth 
its old openings — that is, with the old windows, according to the profiles 
and mouldings still visible — the grim unadorned tower became one of 
the richest and lightest specimens of that noblest of all forms of Gothic 
architecture, the transition between the first and second pointed. — See 
the engraving in Billings's ' Ecclesiastical and Baronial Antiquities.' It 
is singular that, in this age of ecclesiological zeal and costly restoration, 
a building should remain in deformity when the mere removal of a heap 
of stones would make it a noble ornament to a city possessed by an 
affluent and liberal community. 

^ The author of the Old Statistical Account says that in the parish regis- 
ters of the to^\•Ti. he can trace, as then present in it, " the Earls of Buchan, 
Tweeddale, Buccleuch, and Rosebery, the Viscount of Newburgh, the 
Lords Balcarras, Tester, and Ramsay, and the Master of Burley." But 
Douglas's Peerage, and other genealogical documents, do not show that 
these personages were slain at Dundee, or that the death of any of them 
occurred in 1651. 


This was the hist blow in Scotland to those who, 
whether as Covenanters or Cavaliers, supported the 
throne and the house of Stewart. A strong man 
armed had taken possession ; but at last there came 
one stronger than he. Three infallibilities had suc- 
cessively held rule — the infallibility of Laud on the 
apostolic past ; the infallibility of the Covenanters ; 
now it was the turn of the infallibility of Cromwell 
and his army of saints. It exemplified a renowned 
saying, that Providence was to be found with that 
side which had brought the heaviest artillery into the 
field. Cromwell was keenly alive to the potency of 
that great arm of war, and his artillery was on a 
scale of which Scotland had previously little concep- 

The new Government, whether we call it Protec- 
torate or C!ommonwealth, was disj)osed — nay, it may 
be said with more accuracy, earnestly endeavoured — 
to treat Scotland fairly after its own way of dealing. 
In the State documents the empire was spoken of as 
" England," as indeed it often is at the present day, 
after a habit sometimes provocative of protests by 
Scotsmen never loud enough to be heard. The in- 
genious idea of King James, adopted both in Parlia- 
mentary procedure and diplomacy after the Union of 
1707 — the idea of giving the new name of "Great 

' A curious and impressive specimen of his " pommelling " will be 
seen in the wall-plate of the tower of Borthwick, twelve miles from 
Edinliurgh. It is one of the thickest-walled and strongest of the square 
fortresses in Scotland, and its keeper thought he might even defy artil- 
lery. Cromwell wrote liim a laconic letter, saying : " If j'ou necessitate 
me to bend my cannon against you, you may expect what 1 doul)t not 
you will not be pleased with" (Carlyle, ii. 228). A rough cavity torn 
into the flat ashler stone- work shows that a few more shots would have 
brought the enormous tower tojjpling to the ground. 

THE PACIFICATION, 1651-52. 3or 

Britain" to the two nations united under his sceptre 
— was not known, or if known, not followed. The 
ordinances wliich superseded Acts of Parliament in 
England and Acts of the Estates in Scotland were 
issued in the name of the Protector and Council, after- 
wards the Protector and Parliament, "of England." 
It was only when there were ordinances solely appli- 
cable to Scotland that this part of "England" was 
separately named. Thus there was no respect for the 
nationality of the Scots or for their " ancient king- 
dom." But there was much consideration for their 
welfare as a people, and for just dealing with their 
personal rights and obligations. To make a AA^nding- 
up, as it were, of the quarrel concluded by Dunbar 
and Worcester, an ordinance of indemnity was passed : 
" His highness the Lord Protector of the Common- 
wealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the 
dominions thereunto belonging, being desirous that 
the mercies which it hath pleased God to give to this 
nation by the successes of their forces in the late war 
in Scotland, should be improved for the good and 
advantage of both nations, and the people of Scotland 
made equal sharers with those of England in the pre- 
sent settlement of peace, liberty, and prosperity, with 
all other privileges of a free people." This ordinance, 
passed by his highness "with the consent of his Council," 
was ec[uivalent both to an indemnity for ofiences and 
a declaration of peace between England and Scotland. 
From the indemnity there were exceptions, including 
specially the royal family, the house of Hamilton, 
and some other persons of note, such as the Earls 
Marischal, Lauderdale, and Loudon. There was a 
o-cneral exception of the following classes : 1st, All mem- 


bers of the Estates wlio did not concur in " the great 
protestation " against the resolution to send Hamil- 
ton's army into England, " and all who served in that 
army;" 2d, All who attended Parliament or the Com- 
mittee of Estates after "the coronation of Charles 
Stuart ; " 3d, All who took arms for " the said Charles 
Stuart " after the battle of Dunbar, or followed him to 
Worcester. There were complicated clauses for pre- 
serving any claims over the estates thus forfeited held 
by persons not implicated in the cause of forfeiture.^ 

There was one man in Scotland so powerful that 
he became the object of a separate policy. Argyle 
fortified himself in his Highland fastnesses. He pro- 
posed to hold a meeting of the Estates at Inverary, to 
which Huntly and other Eoyalists were invited.^ To 
subdue him would be an affair of time and difficulty, 
and Avould demand a kind of warfare to which Ene;- 
lish forces were unaccustomed. The alternative, 
however, was either subjugation or direct alliance. 
Both parties preferred the latter alternative, and he 
entered on treaty with " Major -General Pdchard Deane 
on behalf of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of 
England." By this treaty the marquess engages "that 
he shall neither directly nor indirectly act or contrive 
anything to the prejudice of the Parliament of the 
Commonwealth of England, their forces, or authority 
exercised in Scotland, but shall live peaceably and 
quietly under the said Government." He is to use 

^ Declarations, Orders, and Ordinances, ii. 231. 

^ " Letters that the Lord Argjde had called in Parliament, and that 
Mr Alexander [Andrew] Cant, a minister, said in his pulpit ' that God 
was bound to own that Parliament. That all other Parliaments were 
called by man, but this was brought about by His own hand.' " — White- 
locke, 489. 


" the utmost of his endeavours " that in this his vassals 
and follo-wers shall follo-\v his example. On the other 
hand, the representative of the Parliament agrees that 
he shall " enjoy his liberty, estate, lands, and debts, 
and whatever duly belongs unto him, from all seques- 
tration and molestation of the Parliament of the 
Commonwealth of England." The treaty is not to 
interfere with his " good endeavours for the establish- 
ing of religion according to his conscience," provided 
this be not accomplished by any act of hostility or 
force.'^ The significance of this paper is in its testi- 
mony to the great power acquired by the western 
potentate, and in this sense it connects itself with 
subsequent events. 

One important thing had yet to be done. The 
theologians Avho had kept Scotland in uproar for so 
many years had to be silenced as well as the politicians. 
The two opposing parties — the Eesolutioners and the 
Eemonstrants — were girding their loins for a war of 
extermination. After a long contest, with much sur- 
rounding disturbance, the end Avould be that the 
majority would drive forth the minority. In July 
1653 the General Assembly met in Edinburgh, each 
side charged with material for hot debate. What 
occurred on that occasion can best be told in the 
words of Baillie, both an eyewitness and a sufferer : — 

" Lieutenant-Colonel Cotterel beset the church with 
some rattes of musketeers and a troop of horse. Him- 
self (after our fast, wherein Mr Dickson and Mr 
Douo-las had two gracious sermons) entered the 
Assembly House, and immediately after Mr Dickson 
the moderator his prayer, required audience, wherein 

> Articles of Agreement, &o. ; Kirkton, 105, n. 


lie inquired if we did sit there by tlie autliority of the 
Parliament of tlie Commonwealth of England, or of 
the commander-in-chief of the English forces, or of 
the English judges in Scotland. The moderator re- 
plied that we were an ecclesiastical synod, a spiritual 
court of Jesus Christ, which meddled not with any- 
thing civil ; that our authority was from God, and 
established by the laws of the land yet standing un- 
repealed ; that by the Solemn League and Covenant 
the most of the English army stood obliged to defend 
our General Assembly. When some speeches of this 
kind had passed, the lieutenant-colonel told us his 
order was to dissolve us ; whereupon he commanded 
all of us to follow him, else he would drag us out of 
the room. When we had entered a protestation of 
this unheard-of and unexampled violence, we did rise 
and follow him. He led us all throueh the whole 
streets a mile out of the town, encompassing us with 
foot companies of musketeers, and horsemen without, 
all the people gazing and mourning as at the saddest 
spectacle they had ever seen. When he had led us a 
mile without the town, he then declared what further 
he had in commission — that we should not dare to 
meet any more above three in number, and that 
against eight o'clock to - morrow we should depart 
the town, under pain of being guilty of breaking the 
public peace ; and the day following, by sound of 
trumpet, we were commanded off town, under the 
pain of present imprisonment. Thus our General 
Assembly, the glory and strength of our Church upon 
earth, is by your soldiery crushed and trod under 
foot, without the least provocation from us at tliis 
time, either in word or deed. For this our hearts are 


sad, our eyes run down with water, we sigh to God, 
against whom we have sinned, and wait for the help 
of His hand ; but from those who oppressed us we 
deserved no evil." ^ 

The last shred of separate national organisation was 
now gone, and for some years history is dormant in 
Scotland. It Avas nearly so in England too. The 
policy of Croni^elL «and his body of able assistants 
was to fuse the two countries into one republic. The 
history of the island centred in its achievements 
abroad, and in these Scotland took her share. It was 
an occasion calling forth the highest ability; for Eng- 
land, having no longer a sovereign, had lost position 
in the diplomatic ranking of European States, and 
could calculate on gaining or holding nothing save by 
sheer force. Scotland supplied to the Commonwealth 
one of its best generals, and by far its best diploma- 
tist, in Sir William Lockhart. He it was who braved 
Richelieu, and made the Court of France forget its 
chivalry in a close alliance with the Protectorate. 
By an achievement uniting both military and diplo- 
matic skill, he took Dunkirk out of the hands both of 
France and Spain.^ 

If the Scots had not their full share in the govern- 
ment of the republic, their own shyness to serve in it 
was the reason. Warriston brought great scandal on 
himself by yielding to the seductions of the Protector. 
He took office, and became a member of Cromwell's 
House of Lords, or "the other House," as it was 

1 Letters, &c., iii. 225, 226. 

■^ For some notices of Lockhart the author refers to his book called 
' The Scot Abroad; ii. 230. 



called ; and he became tlie chairman of the celebrated 
Committee of Public Safety. 

The Court of Session was superseded by a com- 
mission of justice. Its members were called " the 
English judges," but they were of both kingdoms. 
In the first commission there were four Englishmen 
and three Scotsmen. In the "precedents" cited by 
the commentators on the law, or brought up in 
pleadings to support forensic arguments, the deci- 
sions of this court are naturally passed by. They 
left, however, an impression that they were honest; 
and there is a well-known anecdote accounting for 
this virtue without allowing merit to the owners 
— because they were " kinless loons," or persons 
under no pressure of family influence in the dis- 
charge of their duty. There is another tradition 
of a more general character — that their method of 
procedure did much to create the voluminous essays, 
mixing uj) law, fact, and general ethical reasoning, 
which came to be a heavy reproach to the method of 
pleading in the Scottish courts of law. The men, it 
was said, required not merely to be reminded of the 
law, like learned judges, but had to be absolutely 
instructed in it. A collection of their decisions is 
preserved. It carries the impression of much pains- 
taking, and is just as technical and absolutely shut 
to the intelligence of the uninitiated as many of the 
other " practics " of undoubted native growth.^ This 

' The men wlio went over the voluminous pleadings, abbreviated in 
such terms as these, certainly gave testimony to their earnest intentions : 
"A general and special declarator of the single escheat of umquhile 
Mr Patrick Ruthven, being pursued at the instance of John Clerk, mer- 
chant and burgess of Edinburgh, iigainst the tenants of Redcastle and 
the Laird of Ruthven. Excepted that there could be no declarator, 


court had to deal with a great revolution in the law, 
to be presently noticed — the abolition of the feudal 
system, and the commutation of the pecuniary interests 
arising out of the obligations thus thrown loose. But 
perhaps to men to whom the old part of the law was 
as much a novelty as the new, this duty might fall 
more easily than on the experienced adepts trained in 
an old established system. 

In the few years of quietness thus inaugurated, the 
most important transaction was an attempt to accom- 
plish an incorporating union of England and Scot- 
land. A body of commissioners was sent to Scotland 
to adjust difHculties and endeavoru* to obtain co-oper- 
ation in the proposed union. This commission con- 
tains eminent names — it consisted of Saint John, the 
younger Vane, General Lambert, General Deane, 
General ]\Ionk, Colonel Fenwick, Alderman Tichburne, 
and Major Sallowey.^ These commissioners desired 
that delegates might be sent from the counties and 
burghs, chosen like commissioners to the Estates, to 
treat with them on the proposed union. The proposal 
was received with lassitude and distaste rather than 
active opposition. Of thirty-one shires, representatives 
came from eighteen, and of fifty-six burghs twenty- 
four were represented.^ We know little of the deliber- 
ations of this assembly beyond the general conclusion 

because the horning whereon the gift of escheat and declarator is 
grounded bears Sir Francis to be denounced at the market-cross of 
Edinburgh, whereas by the Act of Parliament all hornings whereupon 
gifts of escheat are purchased ought to be used at the market-cross of 
the head burgh where the party denounced dwells," &o. — Clerk contra 
Ruthven, 30th November 1655 ; ' The Decisions of the English Judges 
during the Usurpation, from the year 1655 to his Majesty's Restoration 
and the setting dov^Ti of the Session in .Tune 1661. 1762.' 

1 Whitelocke, 487. - Ibid., 502. 


that tlicy gave tUuir assent to tlie proposed union. 
The union was ratified by an ordinance of the Su- 
preme Council of tlie Commonwealth of England in 
1G.54. It proceeded on the preamble, that "taking 
into consideration how much it might conduce to the 
glory of Cod and the peace and welfare of the people 
in this whole island, that, after all those late and un- 
happy wars and differences, the people of Scotland 
should be united with the peoph; of England into one 
commonwealth and under one government; ;i,nd find- 
ing that in December IG.'}! the Parliament then sitting 
did send commissioners into Scotland to invite the 
people of that nation into such a happy union, who 
})roceeded so far therein that the shires and burghs of 
Scotland, by their deputies convened at Dalkeith, and 
again at Edinburgh, <lid accept of the said union, and 
assent thereunto." 

The fundamental clause of the ordinance was, " That 
all the people of Scotland, an<l of the Isles of Orkney 
and Zetland, and of all the dominions and territories 
belonging unto Scotland, are, and shall be, and are 
liereby, incorporated into, constituted, established, de- 
clared, and confirmed one commonwealth with Eng- 
land ; and in every Parliament to be held successively 
for the said Commonwealth, thirty persons shall be 
called from and serve for Scotland." It was a con- 
dition of this union, that Scotland be " discharged of 
all fealty, homage, service, and allegiairce, which is or 
shall be pretended due unto any of the issue and 
posterity of Charles Stewart, late King of England and 
Scotland, and any claiming under him." 

For the annorial bearings and the public seals of 
the united Commonwealth, it was jirovideil " tliat the 


arms of Scotland — viz., a cross, commonly called St 
Andrew's cross — be received into and borne from 
henceforth in the arms of this Commonwealth as a 
badge of this nnion ; and that all the public seals, 
seals of office, and seals of bodies civil or corporate, 
in Scotland, which heretofore carried the arms of the 
kings of Scotland, shall from thenceforth, instead 
thereof, carry these arms of the Commonwealth." 

The thirty members for Scotland stood against 
four hundred for England. The proportion was pro- 
bably unequal, whether measured by population or 
wealth. But when the armed command held by 
England over Scotland at that time is looked at, 
it will also be seen that there was courtesy and mo- 
deration in the scheme which, in words, if not in 
spirit, treated the two communities as independent 
contracting parties. Still Scotland dealt with this 
new constitution languidly. Representatives were 
sent to the Parliament of 1654 — twenty from the 
counties and ten for the burghs. It is observable, 
however, that several of these representatives were 
Englishmen — whether to save the expense attending 
on the removal of Scotsmen to London, or from some 
other cause. That Parliament was impracticable 
under the other conditions of the Protectorate Govern- 
ment, and its ephemeral existence is a small section of 
English history. AVith this Parliament the Union, as a 
representative institution, disappeared; but it had an- 
other form of action, imparting a beneficence of which 
the people of Scotland were too unconscious until 
they lost it at the Pvestoration. This was the establish- 
ment of free-trade between the two countries. This 
great boon lies almost hidden in a provision of the 


ordinance : " That all customs, excise, and other im- 
posts for goods transported from England to Scotland, 
and from Sctjtland to England, by sea or land, are 
and shall be so far taken off and discharged, as that 
all goods for the future shall pass as free, and with 
like privileges, and with the like charges and burthens, 
from Enoiand to Scotland, and from Scotland to Ene- 
land, as goods passing from port to port, or place to 
place, in England ; and that all goods shall and may 
pass between Scotland and any other part of this 
Commonwealth or dominions thereof with the like 
privileges, freedom, and charges, as such goods do and 
shall pass between England and the said parts and 
dominions." ^ 

Thus commerce was as free between Caithness and 
Middlesex as between Middlesex and Lancaster. The 
great arena of commercial enterprise centred in Eng- 
land was opened to the energetic and industrious 
Scots. Of the beneficent influence likely to follow 
such an ojsening up in a period of profound peace, we 
can only form an estimate by remembering the rapid 
progress in wealth and civilisation accruing to Scot- 
land when the Union of 1707 got free action at the 
conclusion of the insurrections forty years afterwards. 
It was a help rather than an impediment to the influ- 
ence of the free-trade, that, in conformity with Crom- 
well's military policy, the country was dotted with 
fortresses. Raised and armed according to the most 
recent defensive science, they seemed to the eye less 
formidable than the great feudal towers dispersed over 
the country. But they were infinitely more powerful ; 
for although mere earthen mounds, they were mounted 

' Bruce, Appendix No. xxvii. p. cciii. 

FREE-TRADE, 1654-60. 311 

with heavy cannon, and held by garrisons well drilled 
to serve them. When, as we shall see, the High- 
landers were restrained, the industrious Lowlander 
could raise agricultural produce and manufacture mer- 
cantile commodities undeterred by the bitter misgiv- 
ing that any night the whole fruits of his vigilance 
and industry might disappear in pillage and destruc- 
tion. Under these conditions, even in the very 
few years while they lasted, the country prospered. 
There was a theoretical discontent — a latent protes- 
tation against the whole arrangement, and a loyal 
desire to see King Charles II. restored. But it had 
little active vitality ; and perhaps it was in human 
nature that the material prosperity of the people 
soothed such political irritation as came of mere 
abstract principles, and preserved the general lull. 

There is an interesting example of this spirit of 
the immediately practical, of which the Protectorate 
Government was full, in a document bearing the 
date of 1656, called a ' Eeport by Thomas Tucker 
upon the Settlement of the Eevenues of Excise and 
Customs in Scotland.'^ In the language of the dealer 
it might be called " taking stock " of Scotland's share 
in the new partnership. The chief object was no 
doubt to find and draw upon the most available 
sources of revenue ; but the inquiry to this end 
brought forth information valuable for other purposes. 
In the words of the editor, it " contains some curious 
and apparently very authentic information relative to 
the trade and shipping of Scotland in the year 1656 ; " 
affording, besides the proper details about the coUec- 

' Printed and presented to the Bannatyne Club by John Archiliald 
Murray, afterwards Lord Murray, in 1825. 


tion of the customs aud excise, some account " of 
every harbour and creek upon the coast to which 
vessels resorted at that time." 

Tucker's details — especially about shipping, -which 
are the most specific — afford curious elements for com- 
parison. The trade with the New World had yet 
hardly opened on the west coast, and the great bulk 
of the shipping was along the edge of the German 
Ocean, where there was an open and straight seaway 
to Denmark, Korth Germany, Holland, and Scotland's 
ancient ally. The great trading centre was the Firth 
of Forth, and Fifeshire had more shipping than any 
other county. The small shallow creeks, unfit to 
furnish harbours for the large vessels of more recent 
times, were a shelter and haven to the small craft of 
that day, as they are to the fishing-busses of the 

Leith was, in the eye of Cromwell's commissioner, 
the natural centre of trade and civilisation, and the 
hope of Scotland's future. The place was strongly 
fortified by Cromwell ; it was far more suitable for his 
school of fortification than the castle rock of Edin- 
burgh. The commissioner's comment on the two has 
some interest as a touch of the utilitarian spirit of 
the age : " The town of Leith is of itself a pretty 
small town, and fortified about ; having a convenient 
dry harbour into which the Firth ebbs and flows every 
tide, and a convenient quay on the one side thereof, of 
a good length, for landing of goods. This place 
formerly, and so at this time, is indeed a storehouse, 
not only for her own traders, but also for the mer- 
chants of the city of Edinburgh, this being the port 
thereof. And did not that city, jealous of her own 


satety, obstruct and impede the growing of this phice, 
it would, from her skive, in a few years become her 
rival. For as certainly the Castle of Edinburgh did 
first give the rise and gT^)^^'th to that city, by inviting- 
people in the time of their intestine troubles to plant 
and settle there, for settling themselves under the 
strength and security thereof; so now, in time of peace, 
the situation of this toAvn, and all other circumstances 
concurring to the rendering it fit to prove the most 
eminently mercantile and trading place of the whole 
nation, would soon invite the inhabitants of that city 
to descend from their proud hill into the more fruit- 
ful plain, to be filled with the fulness and fatness 
thereof." 1 

There were fourteen vessels in Leith — the largest 
number in any port in Scotland. Three ports next in 
order, as each possessing twelve vessels, make a con- 
junction, much altered in later times — Montrose, 
Kirkcaldy, and Glasgow. But capacities for trade are 
appearing in the " ^"enice of the west " : " This town, 
seated in a pleasant and fruitful soil, and consisting 
of four streets handsomely built in form of a cross, is 
one of the most considerable burghs of Scotland, as 
well for the structure as trade of it. The inhabitants, 
all but the students of the college which is here, are 
traders and dealers — some for Ireland with small 
smiddy coals in open boats from four to ten tons, 
from Avlience they bring hoops, rungs, barrel-staves, 
meal, oats, and butter ; some for France ^^•ith plad- 
ding, coals, and herring, of which there is a great fish- 
ing yearly in the western sea, for which they return 
salt, paper, rosin, and prunes ; some to Korway for 


timber ; and every one with their neighbours the 
Highhmders, who come hither from the Isles and 
western parts." 

There is a brief note of the germ — puny and 
precarious — of the great Transatlantic trade of the 
Clyde : " Here hath likewise been some who have 
adventured as far as Barbadoes ; but the losses they 
have sustained by reason of their going out and 
coming home late every year, have made them dis- 
continue going thither any more." ^ 

In Renfrew there are " three or four boats of five or 
six tons apiece ; " and " in Irvine three or four, the 
biggest not exceeding sixteen tons." There is no 
more shipping on the west coast, but it is noticed 
that English traders are frequenting the estuary of 
the Clyde. 

It fell to Mr Tucker and the other commissioners 
of the revenue to deal with a curious social pheno- 
menon. The revenue was farmed, so that its collection 
fell to the highest bidder who was in a position to 
carry his offer into eflfect. The competition was keen, 
but of a j)eculiar kind. It worked itself into con- 
junction with the feudal spirit of the country. The 
great man, or the man Avho was trying to make him- 
self great by aggrandising himself in lands and 
seignorial rights, sought the power of collecting the 
taxes as a valuable acquisition for furthering his 
objects. It made a material addition to the power he 
had before. Now, however, the customs were to be 
recast, and, with the new duty of excise, to be used 
for materially increasing the revenue. To this end, 
on a mere pecuniary consideration, English adventur- 

1 Page 38. 


ers would be the more suitable farmers, but they did 
not know the nature of the people : — 

"Therefore, duly weighing as well the quality of 
the farmers as having a regard to the temper and 
humour of the people, and finding part of the farmers 
to be English and not acquainted either with the 
thing, persons, or places, and the rest Scots, and in 
this respect more qualified and less obnoxious, but 
naturally rigid exacters, apt to avenge private quarrels 
or discontents under colour or pretext of public em- 
ployment, and most of them generally strangers to 
the particular work in which they engaged. And 
considering withal the people on the other side, 
through poverty and an innate habit of their own, to 
be cross, obstinate, clamorous, and prone to apprehend 
every action an oppression or injury, and again to 
repel both either Avith noise or force. "^ 

The commissioners resolved to try a middle course 
— to farm the revenues, but to reserve to themselves 
that ultimate power of enforcement which they saw 
to be productive of many social irritations : " To 
reserve the judicial part in themselves, and to give 
the farmer only the collective power, which was 
done accordingly." 

The result of this project was utter failure ; and as 
the Commonwealth could not aff"ord to lose a revenue 
for the sake of social quiet and good fellowship, the 
farmers were, in the significant language of the com- 
missioner, " let loose " again upon their natural victims 
and enemies : " Very few or none would pay any 
moneys, suffer any distress, or obey any summons ; 
insomuch that the commissioners were enforced to 

Page 12. 


retract their former resolutions, and to let the farmers 
loose to the full execution of all the powers and 
authorities of the several Acts and ordinances, but 
against and upon such only as should refuse to give 
due obedience, that so they might have a just sense 
that the commissioners did still retain and should have 
continued their first tenderness towards them." The 
result was, that " every one, acted by his fear and the 
expectation he had of suffering the penalties of the 
law, began to provide for his own peace and security 
by a timely conforming, and so made way for the 
more easy and vigorous carrying on of things in the 
future." 1 

We have here a very expressive token of the power- 
fu] pressure attained in the seventeenth century by 
the feudal system in Scotland, where indeed it was 
at all times more effective than the prerogative or 
any other central authority. Perhaps those who were 
so eager to farm the revenue expected thus to obtain 
comjjensation for the loss of the feudal prerogatives 
in their old established form. Among the projects 
of the Protectorate completed upon paper was the 
sweeping away of the whole complex machinery of 
the feudal system in Scotland. In the first place, 
there was to be a restraint on the feudal power of 
the territorial chiefs, by abolishing those portions 
of their authority which made them judges in 
courts of law, and entitled them to the military 
attendance of their vassals. In mere technical lan- 
guage, it was the abolition of heritable jurisdictions 
and of military service. It left to the feudal superior 
all that he was entitled to in the shape of beneficiary 

1 Pase 13. 


profit — all that consisted in money, or civil services 
convertible into money. The vassals holding under 
any deeds or charters were to continue to hold "by 
and under such yearly rents, boons, and annual ser- 
vices as are mentioned and due by any deeds, patents, 
charters, or enfeoffments now in being, of the respec- 
tive lands therein expressed, or by virtue thereof 
enjoyed, without rendering, doing, or performing any 
other duty, vassalage, or command Avhatsoever." 
Thus, upon paper at least, the Government of the 
Protectorate achieved that social reconstruction 
which, on its actually coming into effect after the 
suppression of the insurrections, received unanimous 
applause from politicians and historians.'- But the 
restraint of the military and judicial power of the 
feudal lords was not all. Commerce in land was to 
be freed from impediments. Tracts of land were 
in a state of transition from " roums," or realms, as 
they used to be called, to be estates in the modern 
sense of the term. The feudal system was a heavy 
burden on commerce in this sort of valuable property. 
The system had been invented for military tenure, and 
was hostile to anything that deprived the overlord of 
his proper vassal. The person who desired to pur- 
chase an estate had hence heavy impediments in his 
way, and he could only overcome them by a sort of 
bribery, or the payment of a "casualty." The old 
military notion clung so closely to all questions of 
land-right, that the person who had thus got over the 
feudal difficulties, and put himself in possession as 
actual owner and occupant of the land, was said to 

' The ordinance will be found in Scobell's Collection, and in the Ap- 
pendix (No. xxvii. p. cciii) of Bruce's Report on the Union. 


have acquired it by " conquest," to distinguish him 
from the hereditary successor to a family domain ; 
and the term " conquest " has remained in use down 
to the present time. Thus this project contemplated 
not only the extinction of the military command over 
their vassals belonging to the superiors, and also of 
their jurisdiction over them as hereditary judges, but 
it went still farther. It cut away all the nomen- 
clature and usages of the system, so that even for the 
mere purj)ose of accommodating the feudal system to 
the commerce in land, there should be no such rela- 
tion as sujDcrior and vassal.^ It enables one to realise 
the breadth of such a project, to say that, after count- 
less statutes modifying and adjusting the feudal 
usages to modern utility, this conclusive extinction of 
its vestiges is at the present moment making its way 
through Parliament. 

As in this measure, so in that of the Protectorate 
— there was provision for everything that could be 

' " That all and every the heritors and others, the persons aforesaid 
and heirs, are and shall he for ever hereafter freed and discharged of 
and from all suits, and appearing at or in any of their lords' or superiors' 
courts of justiciary, regality, stewartry, barony, bailiary, heritable 
sheriffship, heritable admiralty — all which together, with all other 
offices, heritable or for life, are hereby abolished and taken away ; and 
that all and every the heritors and persons aforesaid and their heirs are 
and shall be for ever hereafter freed and discharged of and from all 
military service and personal attendance upon any their lords or supe- 
riors in expeditions or travels, and of all casualties of wards, lands 
formerly held of the king and other superiors, and of the marriage, 
single and double, avail thereof, nonentries, compositions for entries, and 
of all rights and casualties payable if they be demanded only, or upon 
the committing of any clause irritant ; and that the said heritors and 
persons aforesaid be now and from henceforth construed, reputed, 
adjudged, and declared free and acquitted thereof." — Bruce's Report on 
the Union, p. ccx. 


deemed a vested interest, if it were in a shape to be 
estimated in money. The investigations for the ac- 
complishment of this revolution were probably what 
revealed a valuable institution for facilitating and pro- 
tecting the commerce in land in Scotland — an institu- 
tion struggling now into existence in England, and 
anticipated by Cromwell. This was the system of Re- 
gistration. Its germ is in an institution of the Empire. 
The notaries, Avho were imperial ofhcers, were bound 
to keep protocol-books containing transcripts of the 
deeds and documents prepared by them. On this 
usage was raised a system of records of land-rights, in 
which the record was the supreme title, not to be con- 
tradicted by an unrecorded private deed.^ When 
Cromwell attempted an imitation of this system 
in England, he found that "the sons of Zeruiah," 
meaning the common lawyers, were too strong for 
him. ^ 

These things testify to much enlightened fore- 
thouoht ; but we must look both at what was given as 
well as what was taken away, before we determine 
that the great Protector Avas more than two hundred 
years beyond his age. When he extinguished the 
feudal powers throughout the country, he laid down 

1 See " A Notice on the Subject of Protocol-books as connected with 
Public Records," by David Laing, Esq., F.S.A., Scot. ; Proceedings of 
the Soc. of Ant. of Scotland, iii. 350. 

^ The method in which this strength was sho^vn is described by Lud- 
low with thorough distinctness : " Upon the debate of registering deeds 
in each county, for want of which, within a certain time fixed after the 
sale, such sales should be void, and being so registered, that land should 
not be subject to any incumbrance. This word 'incumbrance' was so 
managed by the lawyers that it took up three months' time before it 
could be ascertained by the committee."— Vol. i. 370. 


ill it tweuty-eight fortresses, and kept in them per- 
maneut garrisons ont of an army varying from five to 
nine thonsaud men. AYliile this was the necessary 
alternative, it is an open question whether the time 
for the entire abolition of feudality in Scotland had 
yet come. At the same time, an organisation re- 
sembling the Justice of Peace system in England 
was created for Scotland by an ordinance for the 
erection of Courts Baron, to be administered by that 
class whose feudal authority had been suppressed. 

The central power of the new Government enabled 
it to accomplish other measures of advantage unc^ues- 
tionable. There had been some early attempts to 
open postal communication between England and 
Scotland with but slight success. In 1656 the ser^-ice 
Avas organised, in fulfilment of reasons well and briefly 
put thus : — 

"Whereas it hath been found by experience, that 
the erecting and settling of one General Post-Olfice, 
for the speedy conveying, carrying, and recarrying 
letters by post to and from all places within England, 
Scotland, and Ireland, and into several parts bej-ond 
the seas, hath been and is the best means, not only to 
maintain a certain and constant intercourse of trade 
and commerce bet'ndxt all the said places, to the gxeat 
benefit of the people of these nations, but also to con- 
vey the public despatches, and to discover and prevent 
many dangerous and wicked designs which have been 
and are daily contrived against the peace and welfare 
of this Commonwealth." — 

By the ordinance so announced, the organisation 
was put under the direction of " a postmaster- 
general " and "a comptroller of the post-office." A 


scale of charges was established, among which the 
IKjstage of a single letter between Scotland and London 
was fixed at fourpence.^ 

The plan for the Union was accompanied by efforts 
to reconstruct the Church. The closing of the General 
Assembly was like clearing the inhabitants out of a 
street on fire.^ But if the clergy were saved from a 
conflagration, mischief of another kind must arise if 
they were left unregulated to act separately, or in small 
groups as presbyteries. There must be some central 
power to regulate the action of these separate corpora- 
tions, or of the respective clergy if they were to act 
in isolation, otherwise there would be infringements 
and strife. There were questions about temporalities, 
and the due appointment to these along with the 
functions of the ministry, which could not be left to 
spontaneous action in each parish. Some central tri- 
bunal, whether clerical or secular, must adjust them. 

But what suggested the closing of the Assembly 
left difficulties in the path of any adjustment. The 
two contending parties — the Resolutioners and Pro- 
testers — though restrained from flying at each other's 
throats, continued, in their compulsory restraint, to 
nourish their hatred of each other, and were each pre- 
pared to recommence the war of extirpation whenever 

' Ordinance of the Protector in Parliament, 17th December 1656. 

^ The historian of the sufferings entered this memorandum in his 
private note-book : " I find some that favour the memory of Oliver Crom- 
well, excuse the acting of Cromwell in this Church, and say they were 
out of kindness. That he would not suffer any more General Assemblies 
to sit alter 1652, because they would have deposed one another, and the 
rent would have still increased. That he indicted fasts and thanksgiv- 
ini'S himself, and prescribed the days and causes, out of a regard to the 
peace of the Church, because, as he thought, the Protesters and Resolu- 
tioners would make each other causes of their fasting." — Analecta, i. 274. 



a clear arena was opened to them. For the ends of 
the Protector's Government there was a perplexing 
cross - play of compatibilities and incompatibilities 
between the two. The Protesters, who abjnred Charles 
Stewart, seemed in that act to be open for alliance 
with the Commonwealth ; but they abjured also all 
interference by the civil power with that great area 
of dominion claimed by them for the authority of the 
spiritual power, and these claims were not easily com- 
patible with the supremacy of the Commonwealth. 
The other party were more amenal)le to civil rule ; but 
what they wanted was the civil rule of the old Scots 
line of kings. Cromwell called up leading men from 
both sides, and held conferences with them. As these 
discussions had no distinctive permanent influence, 
they are not likely to interest any but those Avho study 
the more obscure intricacies of Church history. What 
appears on the surface is, that Cromwell found the 
Resolution party the more tractable of the two. One 
member of this party, afterwards famous, began at 
this time to found an influence which helped him into 
the sinister path of his celebrity — this was James 
Sharp. He either was, or made himself appear to be, 
so well listened to at the Protectorate Court, that he 
was believed to be the proper man to represent his 
party there when any crisis should come. The end of 
the conferences was, that an ordinance was issued in 
1654, "taking away," as a succinct clerical author puts 
it, "the ordinary powers of Church courts previously 
established, and dividing Scotland into five precincts, 
in every one of which a few ministers, with others, 
were appointed to give testimony in order to the ad- 
mission of ministers (four being sufficient for this 


charge in every province), so that ten ministers and 
ten other persons might exercise the power of plant- 
ing churches for the whole of Scotland." ^ 

The Government had the command of the stipend, 
the manse, and the church itself ; and if it could not 
well raise the question how far a suspected minister 
should be permitted to retain possession, it could put 
a practical veto on the new man wherever there came 
a vacancy. That the Protesting or Eemonstrant party 
were hostile to Charles Stewart, while the Resolu- 
tioners befriended him, naturally influenced the result, 
even although the Government woidd have preferred 
alliance with the Eesolutioners. Thus Baillie in his 
lamentations says : " When a very few of the Remon- 
strants and Independent party will call a man, he gets 
the kirk and the stipend ; but when the presbytery, 
and well near the whole congregation, call and admit, 
he must preach in the fields or in a barn without 
stipend." ^ The question of praying for the king, 
naturally declared to be an offence against the Pro- 
tectorate Government, forced these questions of eccle- 
siastical politics on those most desirous to let them 
alone. This was a negative duty to which the Re- 
monstrants were ready to conform. But the old 
Covenanting party held by him whom they had them- 
selves made a Covenanting king, and in many in- 
stances sacrificed themselves by continuing to pray 
for him by name. 

Some difficulties, created by their political condition, 
in reference to one great religious principle where 
they were in harmony, may have a harsh sound in the 

' Principal Lee's Lectures on the Church of Scotland, ii. 376. 
^ Letters, ii. 371. 


present day ; but it is one tliat ought to be listened to, 
if we would understand fully the spirit of the period. 
Both parties had a hearty horror of the new doctrine of 
toleration. But when the Remonstrants sought favour 
Avith the existing rulers, were they not conniving 
Avith that swarm of sectaries in which the detested 
doctrine had been born and bred ? The difficulty was 
rendered all the more grotesque by this, that the 
Remonstrant party were far more fierce and vehement 
in their testimony against toleration than the old 
Presbyterians, who had something like a misgiving 
towards a very clamorous proclamation of that pecu- 
liar article of their faith. So far on in the Church's 
l)ondage as the 11th of April 1659, Baillie says: 
" Understanding a design of the Remonstrants, some 
weeks before the Synod, to have a petition sent up to 
the Protector and Parliament against toleration," he 
calls on his friends to beware of that design, giving 
reasons, of which a portion will suffice : " This peti- 
tion will be a formal address to the present power as 
the supreme magistrate, which no Church judicature 
in Scotland had ever yet attempted." " The petition 
to preserve that part of our Covenant which tolera- 
tion destroys, with silence of all other articles of our 
Covenant Avhich now are openly laid aside and de- 
stroyed, does avow our contentment with, or neglect 
of, the violation of the other ai'ticles against which we 
do not petition." He suspects that such a testimony 
against toleration cannot be " full," looking to those 
it is addressed to, since " we must be silent of Inde- 
pendents, Anabaptists, and Erastians, these being the 
chief statesmen who must agent our petition." ^ 

' Letters, &c., iii. 393. 

glencairn's expedition, 1653-54. 325 

The somewhat gloomy quietness following the paci- 
fication and the firm establishment of the Protectorate 
was disturbed by an affair known as " Glencairn's 
Expedition." William Cuningham, Lord Glencairn, 
applied to the exiled Charles for a commission to com- 
mand such a force as he might o-ather in Scotland. 
The careless exile could see no harm to himself in 
granting such a request, and in August 1653 Glen- 
cairn appeared in the ^Yest Highlands as the royal 
commander-in-chief The project at once declares 
itself as an imitation of Montrose's expedition of ten 
years earlier, but it was a very bad imitation. Such 
achievements depend on the man who can invent the 
most effective combination for the occasion, and arc 
not available to the mere imitator. The Highlanders 
were of course ready to join in hostility to a Govern- 
ment which brought them under the direst of all rules 
in compelling them to be at peace and abstain from 
plunder. Several heads of clans brought a follow- 
ing with them. Glengary came with two hundred, 
Cameron of Lochiel and Lord Athole with a hundred 
horse and twelve hundred foot. But it was said that 
the Highland leaders seemed more desirous to com- 
mand than to obey — in short, they did not find them- 
selves under the master who could handle a Highland 
army, and were therefore useless. 

He was superseded, and the command conferred on 
Middleton, who had been originally intended for it. 
Lie was a man of a soldierly type who had seen hard 
service, and was not, as we shall have opportunity of 
seeing, very scrupulous. When he arrived at the 
camp a muster was ordered, "that he might examine 
how the men were armed and mounted, and know 


with certainty wliat he had to depend upon. They 
were mustered, accordingly, about the middle of 
]\Iarch ; and their number consisted of three thousand 
five hundred foot and one thousand five hundred horse, 
three hundred of which were not well mounted or 

The new general was presently Avitness to a scene 
that exemplified the character of the army handed 
over to him. It was at a banquet given by Glencairn 
at his headquarters at Dornoch. The entertainer 
called a toast to " the gallant army " which he and 
his friends " had raised out of nothing." Immediately 
Sir George Monro started from his seat, and interrupt- 
ing Lord Glencairn, said: "By God! the men you speak 
of are no other than a pack of thieves and robbers — ■ 
in a short time I will show you other sort of men." 
There was a competition for the honour of resenting 
this, but the quarrel remained between Glencairn and 
Monro. Then follows the delivery of a challenge with 
a picturesqueness that might suit a novel-writer. 
There is a merry supper with the Laird of Ducherie, 
his daughter playing on the virginals — the piano of 
the day. Monro's brother appears, and is heartily 
received by Glencairn, who " saluted him at the hall- 
door as being very welcome, and made him sup with 
him, placing him at the head of the table next the 
laird's daughter. The whole company were very 
merry. Immediately after supper he told Monro that 
he would give him a spring if he would dance — which 
accordingly he did, the laird's daughter playing. 
Whilst the rest were dancing, his lordship stepped 
aside to the window and Monro followed. They did 
not sj)eak a dozen words together." Thus they con- 

glencairn's expedition, 1653-54. 327 

certed a duel fought with bloody bitterness, and only 
not fatal because Monro was disabled and the hand of 
the other held from slaying him. 

One advantasje came from a change of commanders. 
The new man was not to be responsible for keeping 
what had never been gained. Accordingly, like a 
new steward entering in possession, he rendered an 
account of the condition of the enterprise, and thus 
dispelled some flattering visions : " Exaggerated reports 
had been sent to Holland of the number of men in arms 
— they were only prophetically, not actually, true ; and 
if Middleton had not hastened over, and previously 
sent Major-General Drummond, things had not lived 
long." " Middleton has a hard task to a great dis- 
advantage, but has hitherto managed it so well that 
there is no doubt of success. The business, although 
its growth is not hasty, is in constitution healthy and 
strong ; nor is its stature so contemptible as to expose 
it to scorn." Such was the tenor of the reports to 
the exiled Court, and evidently they were not likely 
to excite hope or enthusiasm.^ 

Middleton, a thorough child of the Thirty Years' 
War — an apt pupil in its school of cruelty and rapacity 
— was to do something to conciliate the Covenanters. 
He had experience of their ways when he was excom- 
municated, and had to do penance in sackcloth to re- 
gain his rights as a free citizen; he was to have 
fm'ther experience of them as the hand by which they 
were to be scourged when his master regained his own. 
Of this consummation the very policy he was to pur- 

1 Account of the Proceedings of Middleton's Forces in Scotland ; 
Macray's Calendar of Clarendon State Papers (prescribed in the Bod- 
leian Library), ii. 371. 


sue is ominously suggestive of what Avas then to come : 
" It is hoped to induce the ministers to preach against 
the rebels and undeceive the people, whose affections 
have been strangely won by their smoothness ; but, 
nevertheless, Mr Presbyter will never be allowed 
again to sit at the helm as he formerly did, although, 
as things now are, too much severity and open dis- 
avowing that way would be very destructive."^ 

Monk took this affair with his usual deliberate cau- 
tion. He detached a force of three thousand — six 
hundred of them being horse — to deal with the 
Royalist army. It went in two divisions — one led by 
himself, the other by General Morgan. Their policy 
was to keep strong parties well supplied at Inverness, 
Perth, and the other gates of the Highlands, so that 
Middleton's army should be driven back into the moun- 
tains if they attempted to reach the low country. This 
force was sufficient easily to crush the Royalists' force if 
it could be reached. Monk's troops were not well suited 
for Highland warfare, and therefore wisely attempted 
it as little as possible. But the incapacity of their 
enemy gave them an opportunity. By some blunder- 
ing on both sides, Morgan's party and the Highlanders 
stumbled against each other on the banks of Loch- 
garry. In the words of the historian of the expedi- 

1 Macray's Calendar of Clarendon State Papers, ii. 371. Middleton 
seems to have tried his hand on something like a testimony, but with 
poor success. A. copy of " a declaration hastily drawn up by Middle- 
ton " is sent to the Court, with an explanation that " he showed it 
yesterday to some of the young Presbyters who had a meeting in 
Thurso, who, after a perusal and two or three deep ' gryes,' said there 
was not enough concerning religion. Middleton replied that it was 
only occasional, and not intended for a set declaration which leaves them 
in hopes of great performances that way. But other friends advise him 
to be very tender there — to use only general words, and not to make it 
his practice to communicate such things." — Ibid., 373. 

glencairn's expedition, 1653-54. 329 

tion, " The king's army marched to Lochgarry, near 
which there was a small town where they were to 
encamp all night. But Morgan, who intended to rest 
in the same place, had gained it before Middleton, 
and having no intelligence of each other, the king's 
vanguard and Morgan's outer guard immediately en- 
gaged. There was no ground for drawing up; for on 
the one side the loch hemmed them in, and on the, 
other the ground was all morass, so that no horse 
could ride it ; and the way by the loch-side was so 
narrow that two or three only could ride abreast. 
Middleton, j&nding this, ordered his rear to face about, 
so that our van became our rear ; and the English 
gentlemen in our army being then in the rear, did 
behave most gallantly. Morgan pursued very close. 
At last he made himself master of the general's 
sumptuary, where was his commission and all his 
other papers. He pressed so hard that the king's 
army ran as fast as they could and in great confusion. 
There was no great slaughter, as night came on soon 
after they were engaged. Every man shifted for him- 
self and went where he best liked." ^ 

Middleton, tired of such work, returned to the 
exiled Court ; hence Glencairn had to finish the pro- 

' Military Memoirs, 138. It is scarcely possible to connect with this 
affair the preposterous news received by the exiled Court, and yet there 
is no other to which it will better fit : " It is certain that the Marquis of 
Montrose and Viscount Dudhope charged and routed Monk, who returned 
from Stirling to Dalkeith, where he stiU is curing his wounds. Eighty- 
three wounded officers are in Heriot's Hospital. Montrose lost his left 
thumb. The Earls of Atholl and Kinnoul fell on a reinforcement that 
was marching from St Johnstons to assist Monk, killed five hundred, 
and dispersed the rest. At the same tinie Middleton routed all the 
English forces which were by the head of the river Spey, and killed 
and took three troops of Lambert's regiment called 'the Brazen Wall.' 
The fugitives sheltered themselves under Dnnnottar Castle, not daring 
to trust to the foolish fortifications they had begun about Aberdeen. 


ject lie had begun. He profiered terms to Monk, who 
received them in a pacific spirit. There was a break 
in the negotiations, and at that point an opportunity 
occurred for showing that the insurrection had still 
life in it. A party of dragoons was quartered in the 
town of Dumbarton. A body of Highlanders forded 
the river Leven and surprised them, so that they fled 
to the castle, leaving their horses and provisions to the 
assailants. It was the one success in the expedition, 
and was credited with the effect of bringing j\Ionk to 
good terms : " The conditions were, that all the officers 
and soldiers should be secure in their lives and for- 
tunes, and should have passes to carry them to their 
respective homes, they behaving themselves peaceably 
in their journeys. The officers were allowed their 
horses and arms, and to wear their swords always. 
The soldiers were allowed to keep their horses, but 
were to deliver up their arms and to receive the full 
value for the same, which was to be fixed by two men 
chosen by my lord and the other two by Mouk."^ A 

Middleton is going south. Men see he is in earnest, having imprisoned 
Sir George Monro for raising a mutiny and drawing his sword on the 
Earl of Glencairn. It is thought he will have above sixteen thousand 
horse and foot at a general rendezvous between St Johnstons and Stirling 
the 10th of this month, besides those in the west and south with Ken- 
more and Sir Arthur Forbes. There is not an. Englishman between 
the Forth and the Tay except one hundred and twenty-five in Burnt- 
island Castle, who dare not look out. All this news comes by persons 
who came nine days ago from Burntisland. The Scots make inroads 
into England as far as Newcastle, and receive kind entertainment from 
the country people." — "Intelligence from various Places, copied by 
John Nicholas ; " Calendar, Clarendon Papers, ii. 376. 

^ Military Memoirs, 185. The authority thus cited and chiefly relied 
on for the facts of this insurrection is ' Military Memoirs of the 
great Civil War, being the Military Memoirs of John Gwynne, and an 
Account of the Earl of Glencairn's Expedition,' &c., 4to, 1822. Edited 
by Sir Walter Scott. 

glencairn's expedition, 1653-54. 331 

spirit of conciliation is conspicuously visible in these 
terms. Before its dispersal the disorderly Highland 
camp was brightened by a visit from a hero of romance 
— Colonel Vegan he is called by the historian of the 
expedition ; but he is better known to the world as 
Captain Wogan, the name he holds in Clarendon's 
History, where his adventures are told. He took a 
small party of devoted Eoyalists who marched with 
him through England and Scotland in the guise of 
troopers of the Commonwealth, and thus reached den- 
cairn's camp with "near a hundred gentlemen well 
armed and mounted." He brought with him a wound 
caught in an affair " with a troop of the Brazen- Wall 
Regiment, as they called themselves;" and from unskil- 
ful treatment, as it was said, died in Glencairn's camp.^ 
So high ran hopes and expectations about Glencairn's 
expedition that Charles professed his intention to join 
it. He seems only to have been stopped in time, when 
the precise and unassuming reports from Middleton 
were received. It was well for himself that he remained 
in safety in Paris, since the result of all rational calcu- 
lation from the tenor of events is, that he would have 
been taken. ^ There is another feature of some in- 

' " Middleton made a short harangue, passionately lamenting Colonel 
Wogan, whose memory all men here reverence, and who perished either 
by the ignorance or villanj^ of his chirurgeun." — Calendar of Clarendon 
Papers, ii. 371. For help to all the authorities on the Wogan affair, see 
the Boscobel Tracts, p. 42. 

' Macray's Calendar of the Clarendon State Papers (preserved in the 
Bodleian Library), Nos. 1468, 1480, 1713. The chief of Glengary 
writes to the royal exile to this effect : " Although on Middleton's arrival 
their forces were not so strong as possibly they had been reported, 
yet they are now in better condition ; and the king's presence, which is 
desired by most of his faithful subjects, would shortly put them in a 
condition to deal equally with the enemy, while without it they will 
have no governing of themselves." — No. 1944. He wisely remained away. 


terest in this affair. The Lord Lorn, the son of the 
Marquess of Argyle, professed to befriend it. We find 
him coming; to Glencairn as a friend, who would be 
an ally if he could raise his father's clan ; and he was 
in correspondence with the exiled Court at Paris, 
receiving the thanks of Charles for his proffers.^ 

It would seem that the boastful hopes of the 
Royalists were so far echoed in the apprehensions of 
the Government, that eighteen thousand men were 
available in Scotland. At the time when the affair 
came to an end the force was reduced to nine thou- 
sand. Down to the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury the " wild Highlander " never was so effectually 
bridled as during the remaining years of the Pro- 
tectorate. There was a great fortress at Inverness 
for his special government. But we shall have per- 
haps an exaggerated account of it, if we take the 
impression of a trooper in the Protectorate army 
speaking of it in the year 1658: "North and by 
east, near the forcible stream of the Ness, stands the 
fortress or pentagon, drawn out by regular lines, built 
all with stone, and girt about with a graff that com- 
modes it with a convenient harbour. The houses in 
this fair fortress are built very Ioav, but uniform, and 
the streets broad and spacious, with avenues at inter- 
but he wrote a letter destined for the Moderator of the General Assem- 
bly, if such a person could he found, desiring him to send " such able, 
faithful, and discreet ministers into the army as may draw down God's 
blessing upon them" (No. 1709). 

' Macray's Calendar of the Clarendon State Papers, Nos. 1480, 1747. 
" Lord Lorn, in a letter to the lieutenant-general about six weeks since, 
expressed abundance of zeal to the king's service. He has a consider- 
able force with him, and therefore it will be no policy alisolutely to re- 
fuse him ; if there be just ground to fear him, the only way will be to 
labour to get him into their power." — No. 1944. 


vals for drilling of foot and drawing up horse. I must 
confess such and so many are the advantages and 
conveniences that belong to this citadel it would be 
thought fabulous if but to enumerate them ; for that 
end I refer myself to those who have inspected her 
magazines, providoes, harbours, vaults, graffs, bridges, 
sally-ports, cellars, bastions, horn-works, redoubts, 
counterscarps, &c." ^ There was a responding fort at 
the upper end of Loch Ness, and — most astounding 
phenomenon of all to the natives — communication was 
opened between them by a ship of Avar cruising on the 
loch. The same writer describes, with much flowery 
eloquence, its removal overland from the Moray 
Firth by "a regiment — or it may be two — at that 
time quartered near Inverness, who by artifice had 
fastened thick cables to her forecastle, and then they 
got levers and rollers of timber, which they spread at 
a distance one before another." - 

Neither the united Parliament nor the new Church 
polity had a practical growth carrying any touches of 
its spirit into the institutions of later times ; and, 
unlike the political project, the ecclesiastical was ac- 
companied by no secondary influence of a beneficent 
kind, such as the opening of trade between the tAvo 
countries, to commend it to the sympathies of an 
ase in which it would otherwise be forgotten. 

Cromwell's immediate and temporary influence, both 
on Church and State in Scotland, had in it much of 
that character which he claimed for his position. The 
country was in a state of riot — a constable was wanted 
to put it in order and keep it so, and he accepted 
of the post. But the constable is at all times more 

1 Frank's Northern Memoirs, 202. " Ibid,, 199. 


tolerated than liked. To those even whom he pro- 
tects he is the emblem of forced obedience ; and when 
they see him on his stiff walk, with his suspicious eye 
and his baton of control, they sigh for the good old 
days when courtesy and deference preserved order in 
the village, and the squire was respected for his an- 
cient pedigree and his personal amiability. Then 
when the Protectorate passed to Oliver's son, it was 
no longer the necessary constable, but a question of 
change of dynasty. 

The loyalty that only muttered under the stern rule 
that was over now spoke fairly out. It was in Novem- 
ber 16.59 that Monk began his renowned march to 
London. For all the famed inscrutability of his char- 
acter, the Scots evidently knew the errand on which 
he had gone. There was so good an understanding 
between them that he could withdraw the army from 
their neighbourhood. He called together an assembly 
of representative men from the counties, who so far 
promoted his undertaking, whatever it might be, that 
they aided him with a considerable sum of money, 
which might either be called an anticipation of the 
taxes to come, or an advance on their security. At 
their meeting, whatever was spoken beyond compli- 
ments and expressions of good-fellowship, referred 
to the support of the Parliamentary authority in each 
country. The general knew the opinion of the men he 
was dealing with ; he accepted of co-operation and 
aid from them ; he was able to do what they desired, 
and the bargain was as complete as a bargain without 
words can be. Had Monk done otherwise than as 
he did, he would certainly have incurred a charge of 
dissimulation or apostasy. 


Social progress from t\}Z Reformation to 
i\}t Restoration. 










Having reached a period of calm, with the conscious- 
ness that fresh troubles will speedily demand exclusive 
attention, the opportunity is suitable for a retrospect 
on the social conditions and fluctuations attending a 
hundred years of the country's history.^ 

^ It is sometimes said that the liistory of a country is imperfectly 
written if it do not in the narrative reveal the social condition of the 
people hrought forward to act upon its stage. This may he so, but most 
ordinary narrators are apt to feel that there are characteristics of a 
people too placid and leisurely in their growth to he easily put into com- 
panionship with others born of violence, fanaticism, or craft. At all 
events, if there are morsels which the skill of an author is insufficient to 
weave into his narrative, the best he can do is to stop at a halting-place 
and pick them up. 


The great impulse to literature and learning accom- 
panying the Reformation had not yet expired, though 
in the stormy atmosphere it had lived in for fiftj^ 
years it was evidently dwindling towards extinction. 
Yet even among the men foremost in its acrid discus- 
sions were many Avho had a name far beyond their 
own country in the theological or polemical literature 
of the day, and who published the results of their 
labours abroad in the language which still made the 
learned of all Europe kin to each other. Among these 
were David Calderwood the historian, John Brown, 
commonly known as " Brown of Wamphray," Samuel 
Itutherford, David Dickson, and Piobert Baillie, with 
whom we have had many opportunities of commun- 
ing.^ The cousin to whom he wrote the letter cited 

1 It is pleasant to find Baillie, in the hours of his darkest depression 
from the fate of his lieloved Church, finding relief in the republic of 
foreign letters. To Middelburg he writes, desiring his cousin Spang, a 
minister there, to send him some morsels of periodical literature written 
in French, but published in Holland, where it evaded the censorship. 
And then : " I pray you, in your first to Voetius, remember my hearty 
service to him for his kind and prolix answer to my letter. Try if he 
has any return either from Buxtorf or Golius about my motion to them : 
we all long for a new enlarged edition of the Bibliothek, and a third 
volume of his Theses. I am informed that there is no man fitter to draw 
a philosophic cursus than his own son ; will j-ou try if he can be per- 
suaded to it ? Wlio now is in by for any service ? What is Heidanua for 
a man ? What has come of Morns and Blondell ? Is there no man who 
after Spanheim does mind the controversy with Amiraud ? As long 
since I desired you to gather the adversarie pieces of Voetius and Mare- 
sins, and send them to us — do it yet. AVhat is my good friend Apol- 
lonius doing ? Is there no more of Bochartus' or Henricus' Philippus 
come out 1 That the more willingly you may give me an account of all 
this, behold I am at the labour to let you know how all our affairs stand 

" To myself the Lord is still very good, continuing my health, wealth, 
credit, welfare of all my six children, assistance in every part of my calling ; 
blessed be His name." — Letters, &c., iii. 31L But it was not well with 
his Zion. After having beheld triumph after triumph until lie grew be- 

LITERATURE, 1560-1660. 337 

below — William Spang — provided the sympathisers 
in the Netherlands with a history of the recent trans- 
actions in Scotland, conveyed to them in the language 
of all scholars.^ 

Among other Presbyterian divines whose writings 
are limited to their own vernacular were men with 
eminent intellectual qualities ; such was the great 
John Welch who married Knox's daughter. Though 
he wrote in his own language, he threw himself into 
the midst of the fundamental contests between the 
old Church and the new; and he must have been an 
accomplished linguist, since he ministered for some 
time as a Huguenot pastor in France. There were 
John Weems of Lathoker, Rol)ert Bruce, James 
Durham, James Guthrie, the hero and martyr of the 
Remonstrants, and George Gillespie, the " hammer 
of the Malignants." ^ There was eminent over all 

wildered with success, all was now subdued to the iron rule of the Com- 
monwealth. In viewing the public side of such a man in his brawling 
assemblies and perilous politics, and turning to his studies and his 
domestic peace, we see how well a mind stored with intellectual wealth 
is endowed with resources against the calamities of the times. His 
correspondents, though their works now rest very peacefully on the 
book-shelves, were noted divines in their day — chiefly in the sources of 
study supplied from Oriental literature. 

1 ' Rerum Nuper in Regno Scotise Gestaruni Historia, &c., per Irinsemn 
PhUalethen Eleutherium,' Dantzic, 1641. This is apt to be confounded 
with a little book called ' Motuum Britannicorum verax Cushi ex ipsis 
Joabi et oculati testis prototypis totus translatus.' I have not been able 
to discover the origin of this book. It is clear, from the abundance of its 
local information, that the .Joab and eyewitness by whom either it was 
written or its chief materials supplied, were in Scotland. 

^ Of Gillespie Wodrow says : " He was one of the great men that 
had a chief hand in penning our most excellent Confession of Faith and 
Catechisms. He was a most grave and bold man, and had a most wonder- 
ful gift given him for disputing and arguing." The end of a dispute 
held by him with some of the promoters of the Engagement was that 
" Glencairn said, ' There is no standing before this great and mighty 



Alexander Henderson, selected for the distinction of 
debating the great question of the day with the 

These men all belonged to a religious community 
frequently oscillating between triumph and defeat — 
a community of many transitions and interminable 
contests. Among reliofious bodies of so restless a 
temperament the trumpet is frequently and loudly 
blown, and men are famous who but for adventitious 
conditions would have been obscure. But whether it 
were from the fruitful impulse of this restlessness or 
not, it is certain tliat soon after the Reformation, and 
down to the Restoration, there was a marked access 
of intellect and zealous scholarship among the Pres- 
byterian clergy of Scotland ; and the feature seems 
the more worthy of note, that in the after -ages, 
whether in depression or in triumph, the same Church 
became intellectually barren. 

The Episcopal Church was not without its literary 
ornaments. Among these Ave may count Archbishop 
Spottiswood, and, more eminent as scholars, the two 
Bishops of Aberdeen, Patrick and John Forbes. There 
was Leighton, destined for a high place in religious 
literature, and Alexander Ross, a man of various 
accomplishments and powers somewhat eccentrically 

The foreign intellectual market continued to be 
abundantly supplied from Scotland.^ The Latin lan- 
guage, as a vehicle of literature and teaching, lingered 

man.' He was called Malleus Malignantium ; and Mr Baillie, writing 
to 6ome in this Church against Mr George Gillespie, said, ' He was truly 
an ornament to our Church and nation.' " — Aiialecta, iii. 111. 

' For notices of the learned Scots who became distinguished on the 
Continent the author refers to his ' Scot Abroad,' \o\. ii. 

LITERATURE, 1560-1660. 339 

longer in Scotland than in England, for various obvi- 
ous reasons. Until the Scot ambitious of an audience 
could address his neighbours of England as well as his 
own countrymen, he spoke in these to a narrow audi- 
ence. With Latin he had the educated men of all the 
world to speak to. The use of the language had 
become so much a nature, that one sometimes finds a 
Scots scholar, when laboriously endeavouring to ex- 
press his meaning in not too provincial vernacular, 
relieving himself by relapsing into the familiar Latin. 
But as the use of the vernacular increased, the 
Latin degenerated by a process of stiffening. As it 
dropped out of living use by the great community 
of scholars, it came at last to be the dead language 
it is now called, and had to be artificially acquired. 
In the days of Buchanan it had been purified from 
the various barbaric forms into which it had been 
twisted by the scholastic divines, the lawyers, and the 
chroniclers, in whose hands it took generally a shape 
warped by the peculiarities of their several native 
languages. In the days of Buchanan it was both pure 
and free, and open, as any man's native tongue is, to 
the bold handling of a genius such as his. He was no 
more under the dominion of the rules of prosody, and 
no more excluded from the use of neologies legiti- 
mately born of the genius of the language, than Ovid 
and Catullus were. But the later men who aspired 
to Latin versifying came gradually under the re- 
straints in full force in later times, and their verses 
mio-ht be accurate and canonical, but were not poetry. 
In the collection of elegant extracts already mentioned 
as containing the effusions of Andrew Melville and 
his comrades — ' The Delicise Poetarum Scotorum ' — 


we can estimate at a glance tlie contribution rendered 
by (Scotland to tliis kind of literature. It may be 
counted an open question, whether Arthur Johnston 
shall be held to rise above the prosodical manufacture 
into the region of the poet. The direct comparison 
with Buchanan demanded in his translation of the 
Psalms did much to prejudice his claim. Still there 
are some touches of sweetness and beauty, in his less 
ambitious efforts especially, M^here, like Ausonius, he 
touches on incidents and scenes of local interest, — 
as where he commemorates the tragedy of the burn- 
ing of Frendraught, perpetrated near the door of his 
own paternal home, or muses on the coincidence that 
that home is touched by the shadow of the neighbour- 
ing hill of Benochie when the midsummer sun is 
setting behind it. 

With examples of the vernacular prose literature of 
Scotland, from Knox's time downwards, the reader of 
these pages may perhaps have found himself rather 
too abundantly supplied. 

The Scottish poets of the early half of the seven- 
teenth century were not many. Chief among them 
were Drummond of Hawthornden, Sir William Alex- 
ander, Sir Ptobert Aytoun, and Alexander Hume. A 
community so small and obscure did not subject itself 
to the rules of art coming in force in England for the 
discipline of its larger literary republic. The few 
Scottish poems of the day have thence a spirit of not 
unpleasant freedom, which has recommended them to 
the anarchical taste of the present generation.^ But 

' Alexander Hume's poem of the " Day Estival," existing in obscurity, 
as excluded from legitimate poetry by the canons of each succeeding 
dynasty, has found itself in harmony with the poetical spirit of the pre- 

POETRY, 1560-1660. 341 

although the versification is free of many contem- 
porary trammels of art, and is often devoted to the 
description of natural objects, yet there is a certain 

sent generation — so far, indeed, that a close parallel has been found be- 
tween him and a great poet of the nineteenth century in their style of 
imagery. It is the description, physical and social, of the land, blessed 
by a hot summer day, following the course of daylight from sunrise to 
sunset. The morning and the poem open together : — 

"0 perfect light, whilk shed away 
The darkness from the light, 
And left ane ruler o'er the day, 
Ane other o'er the night ; 

Thy glory, when the day forth flies, 

Mair vively does appear. 
Nor at mid-day unto our eyes 

The shining sun is clear. 

The shadow of the earth anon 

Removes and drawes by. 
Syne in the east, when it is gone, 

Appears a clearer sky." 

Tlie birds are the earliest to feel the reviving influence, and when the 
darkness is utterly dispersed by tlie sun, they and other elements of life 
are in full career : — 

"For joy the birds, with bolden throats. 
Against his visage sheen, 
Takes up their kindly music notes 
In woods and gardens gi'een. 

Up braids the careful husbandman 

His cows and vines to see, 
And every timeous artisan 

In booth works busily. 

The pastor quits the slothful sleep. 

And passes forth with speed 
His little cameo-nosfed sheep 

And routing kie to feed." 

Moving on towards the mid-day heat we have this sultry sketch : — 

'^The time so tranquil is and still, 
That nowhere shall ye find 
Save on ane high and barren hill 
The air of peeping wind. 

All trees and simples, great and small, 

That balmy leaf do beai', 
Nor they were painted on a wall 
No more they move or stir. 


pedantry or conventionalism in the selection of these 
objects. The poet does not go forth dreaming on 
what is around him, and telling his dream. He must 
select and group his matter after such rules as have 
prescribed the foreground, middle, and distance of a 
legitimate picture, or the unities in a drama. It will 

Calm is the deep and purpiire sefi. 

Yea, smoother tlian the saud. 
The wells that weltering wont to be 

Are stable like the land. 

Sa silent is the cecile air, 

That every cry and call, 
The hills and dales and forests fair 

Again repeats them all. 

The rivers fresh and caller streams 

O'er rocks can softly rin; 
The water clear like crystal seems. 

And makes a pleasant din." 

There are many other types of man and natnre endming the burning heat, 
and then the day draws to a close :— 

"The gloaming comes, the day is spent, 
The sun goes out of sight, 
And painted is the Occident 
With pnrpour sanguine bright. 

The scarlet nor the golden thread. 

Who would their beauty try, 
Are nothing like the colour red. 

And beauty of the sky. 

Our west horizon circular, 

Era' time the sun be set, 
Is all with rubies, as it were. 

Or roses red o'erset. 

What pleasure were to walk and see, 

Endlong a river clear. 
The perfect form of every tree 

Within the deep appear ! " 

Hume died minister of a country parish early in the seventeenth cen- 
tury. The original edition of his ' Hymns and Sacred Songs, wherein 
the right use of Poesy may be espied,' is very rare. It was reprinted by 
the Bannatyne Club, and the " Day Estival" has been reprinted more than 
once. It is in the third volume of Sibbald's ' Chronicle of Scottish 
Poetry,' and in the ' Scottish Descriptive Poems,' edited by Leyden. 

POETRY, 1560-1660. 343 

perhaps make this characteristic more distinct to say, 
that when we accompany a Scottish poet of the day, 
who in natural and easy versification is describing 
natural objects with much truth and vivacity, yet we 
do not feel that we are in Scotland along with him. 
This will show itself in the portions from Hume's poem 
given in the preceding note, and one may read the 
whole without finding anything in the descriptions to 
mark the author as a Scotsman. In fact his sum- 
mer day belongs to climes nearer the sun ; and only 
to some memorable day of exceeding heat, scarcely 
occurring once every year, would it be applicable in 

It is in harmony with this, that there is nothing 
made in these old poems of the wealth of varied na- 
tional scenery, which has in late years given inspiration 
to English as well as Scottish bards. It is not only 
that negatively is this theme of poetry passed by, but 
that in one instance there exists what may be termed 
a positive protest against it as unworthy of poetic 
treatment. It is the one instance where the poetry of 
the period deals with scenes frequented now by annual 
thousands of pilgrims in search of the picturesque, and 
in that one instance the scenery is treated with deri- 
sion. A certain freebooter named Diincan MacGregor 
had long been a dreaded scourge in the straths leading 
towards the central highlands of Perthshire and Angus. 
He was at last trapped and brought to the stronghold 
of the head of the Breadalbane Campbells, where the 
bard divines his contemplations as he is awaiting the 
final rope. He is ruminating on the old scenes dear 
to his heart — the fair straths and fruitful carses where 
his presence was murder and ruin — the savage recesses 


of the rock where he hid his plunder and found shelter 
for himself. The point of humour in the effort is, that 
on scenes abhorred by poetry and civilisation the 
rufSan becomes tenderly pensive. It is as if, when a 
modern housebreaker has come to grief, his rumina- 
tions should recall the shops and warehouses where he 
has done his most distinguished feats as a cracksman, 
and should pass from these to the horriljle dens in the 
polluted regions of the great cities where he and his 
like seek safety, — the whole being rendered in the 
manner of Gray's ode on a distant view of Eton, or 
Wordsworth's reminiscences at the fountain where his 
heart was "idly stirred" by "the self-same sounds" 
that he had heard, not alone, in days long past.-^ 

^ " Farewell, Breadalbane, and Loch Tay so sheen. 

Farewell, Glenorchy, and Glenlyon baith ; 

My death to yon will be but little skaitli. 
Farewell, Glenalmond — garden of pleasance, 

For many a flower have I frae you tane. 
Farewell, Strathbran, and have remembrance 

That thou wilt never mair see Duncan again. 
Atholl, Strathtay, of my death be fain ; 

For ofttimes I took your readiest gear, 

Therefore for me see ye greet not one tear. 
Farewell, Stratliern, most comely for to knaw, 

Plenished with pleasant policies perclair ; 
Of tower and town, standing fair in raw, 

I rugged thy ribs, while oft I gart them roar. 

Gar thy wives, yif thou wilt do no more, 
Sing my dirirje after usum saricm, 
For ofttimes I garred them alarum. 
Farewell, Monteith, where oft I did repair. 

And came unsought, ay, as does the snaw. 
To part frae thee my heart is wonder sair. 

Sometime of me I gart you stand great awe ; 

But fortune now has lent me sic ane blaw. 
That tbey whilk dread me as the death beforn. 
Will mock me now with heathen shame and scorn." 

Farther up in the of the mountains his regretful memories 
are of another kind : — 

" Now farewell, Rannoch, with thy loch and isle ; 
To me thou wast richt trest both even and morn. 

POETRY, 1560-1660. 345 

The abode of Drummond, perched on its rock of 
Hawthornden, looked down on scenes renowned for 
their beauty ; yet one will wander until he is tired 
through the sonnets, madrigals, and epigrams to 
which his muse was chiefly dedicated, without find- 
ing any allusion to the glories spread around him 
by nature. 

The poets of this period were almost as negligent 
of the heroic annals of their country as of its natural 
beauties. Classical models, ideas, and names had 
gained the supremacy, and were to hold a long reign. 
The morsels of poetic or imaginative literature that 
did most to offer a mirror of the country and the 
period were those given to moralising. The vices 
that deo-rade and the virtues that adorn are the ob- 
jects of prolific literary painting, and they could not 
be personified without some touches of actual human 
life. How to adorn the life allotted to us, however 
humble, with the mellow beauties of a contented 
spirit, is the general tenor of this kind of literature ; 
and from Seneca downwards it seems to have been a 
favourite theme with ambitious and self-seeking men. 
Like these. Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, 
the Secretary of State and the projector of the colony 
of Nova Scotia, was successful in painting the happi- 
ness of a lot he never knew. He speaks in dramatic 

Thou wast the place that would me iiocht beguile 
When I have been oft at the king's horn." 

— Duncan Laideus aliai Makgregouris Testament; Black Book of Tay- 
mouth, 149. The author is not kno\vn, but he must have been a cul- 
tivated man. Laideus is Latinised from Laudasach, Duncan's hiding 
retreat, or some other place associated with his name. For a further 
account of the hero and the poem see Innes's Sketches of Early Scotch 
History, 355. 


pieces ; but these apparently were not constructed 
for the stage, but written to bring out the moralities 
in the utterance of the several parts : and there is 
a dignity and sweetness in the appreciation and de- 
scription of the homely virtues of common life as 
they are thus celebrated.'- 

There is generally, among a people with a nation- 
ality and a history of their own, a literature more 
significant in its social relations than the literature of 
the library. This, inspired by scholarship, may be 
drawn from foreign lands and distant times ; but 
the songs and ballads preserved in the traditions of 

' The quartets following are a pleasant gloss on the Horatian text of 
the " Desiderantem quod satis est," &c. : — 

" happy he, who, far from fame, at home 
Securely sitting by a quiet fire, 
Tliough having little, doth not more desire ; 
But first himself, then all things doth o'ercome. 

His purchase weighed, or what his parents left, 

He squares his charges to his store, 

And takes not what he must restore. 
Nor eats the spoils that from the poor were reft. 

Not proud nor base, he scorning creeping art ; 

From jealous thoughts and en\'y free. 

No poison fears ia cups of tree, 
No treason harbours in so poor a part. 

No heavy dream doth vex him when he sleeps ; 
A guiltless mind the guardless cottage keeps." 

The following is in the spirit of the " Ne sit Ancillse," with an inversion 
of the sexes : — 

" happy woman ! of true pleasure sure, 

who in the country lead'st a guiltless life. 

From fortune's reach retired, obscure, secure, 

Though not a queen, yet a contented wife. 

Thy mate, more dear to thee than is the light. 
Though low in state, loves in a high degree. 

And, with his presence still to bless thy sight, 

Doth scorn great courts while he lives courting thee. 

BALLADS AND SONGS, 1560-1660. 347 

the people are their own beloved. It was an eminent 
and popular Scotsman who first uttered the judgment, 
so often repeated, " If a man were permitted to make 
all the ballads, he need not care who should make the 
laws of a nation." In literature of this kind Scotland 
is peculiarly affluent. The ballad-poetry of Scotland 
may now be counted a full hundred years old in 
printed literature. Allan Eamsay collected a few of 
its floating fragments ; but it is in Percy's ' Reliques,' 
published in 1766, and more amply in David Herd's 
contemporary collection of 'Ancient and Modern 
Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads, &c.,' that the min- 
strelsy of Scottish ballad - poetry took a place in 
British literature. The later collections, including 
Scott's ' Border Minstrelsy,' and ending with Aytoun's 
two volumes, are too numerous to be conveniently 

From the structure of the versification and languaoje 
we may carry the bulk of these popular poems at least 
as far back as the seventeenth century. It was then, 
at least, that they appear to have been completed, or 
brought to the condition in which they stand in the 
versions held in highest esteem by those who have 
collected and published them. At this stage of 
their existence we may say of them that they were a 
literature adopted by popular acclamation. No one 
was known as the author of any one of them. They 
grew and fell into shape as they passed from gener- 
ation to generation by tradition. One minstrel or 
reciter had to fill up, in his own way, what he had 
forgotten ; another gave a touch of improvement, or 
what he deemed so, to the work as he got it. If there 
were originally verses of execrable doggerel in the 


ballads that have come down to us in all their quaint 
sweetness, then the public taste must have chosen the 
fair and dropped the foul. A literary structure of 
this kind should be a valuable study to those scholars 
who attribute a similar method of growth to "the Hom- 
eric epics."'- The collector for publication was not pre- 
cluded from Avhat, in artist phrase, is called "touching 
up " his prizes. Of several versions he had perhaps 
not simply to select the best, but he had to adorn it 
with stray beauties found among the others. This 
rendered manipulation necessary ; and the judicious 
alteration of a word here and there, to make better 
harmony of the whole, was within the licence of his 
craft. ^ There is no doubt that in editing; the ' Min- 

^ " The peculiar character and tone of the Iliad and Odyssey, apart 
from the question of structure and organism, is specifically the tone 
and character which belongs to minstrel poetry, as distinguished from 
the productions of poetic art in an age of literary culture. The differ- 
ence between minstrel poetry and the poetry of literary art is given 
necessarily with the character of the age to which it belongs. The min- 
strel sings or recites for the entertainment of a race of simple but stout 
and healthy-minded men who know nothing of books ; the literary pioet 
writes and publishes for a generation of nice readers, subtle thinkers, 
and fastidious critics — a people who can do nothing without printed 
paper, and for whose souls books have become almost as essential as 
bread is to their bodies. The conditions of growth being so totally 
diverse, it cannot be that the flower and the fruit brought to maturity 
vmder such different influences should not present a corresponding 
diversity." — Blackie's Homer and the Iliad, i. 139. 

^ For instance, in the exquisitely mournful "Walj', Waly," — 

"Now Arthur Seat shall lie my bed, 

The sheets shall ne'er be pressed by me ; 
Saint Anton's well sliall be my drink, 
Since my true love's forsaken me. 

winter winds, when will ye blaw, 
And shake the dead leaf aff the tree ? 

gentle death, wlien wilt thou come. 
And tak a life that wearies me ? " 

BALLADS AND SONGS, 1560-1660. 349 

strelsy of the Scottish Border,' Scott did much for 
purification and a little in the shape of decoration; and 
his was the master's hand that could not fail in giving 
the true and perfect touch. A critic of the day 
whose first sight of Scottish ballad-lore was in these 
attractive volumes prophetically announced that they 
contained " the elements of a hundred historical ro- 

The Scottish ballad-minstrelsy, indeed, ranges over 

— it is said tliat Allan Ramsay tampered with the last line, wliicli in an 
older version is, " For of my life I am weary." But we may thank 
" honest Allan " for the improvement ; and we are indebted to Scott for 
a slight but effective touch, removing an imperfection in the older read- 
ings. No one, however, wiU feel any debt of gratitude to tlie pedant 
who seems to have brolien iu on the simple description of the beautiful 
boy Gil Morice witli " Minerva's loom" and other polishings : — 

" Gil Morice sat in good greenwood, 
He whistled and lie sang : 
' wliat means a' the folk coming ? 
My mother tarries lang ! ' 

His hair was like the threeds of gold 

Drawn from Minerva's loom ; 
His lips like roses drajiping dew, 

His breath was a' perfume. 

His brow was like the raoimtain sna,w 

Gilt by the morning beam ; 
His cheeks like living roses glow ; 

His eyes like azure stream. 

The boy was clad in robes 0' green. 

Sweet as the infant spring ; 
And like the mavis on the bush 

He gart the valleys ring. 

The baron came to the greenwood 

Wi' muckle dule and care ; 
And there he first spied Gil Morice 

Kaiming his yellow hair. 

That sweetly waved around his face — 

That face beyond compare. 
He sang sae sweet it might dispel 

A' rage but fell despair. " 


and engrosses every element of poetry except tlie reli- 
gious or devout. That had its own minstrels)^ in the 
vocal psalmody of public worship. The great cause 
of the Covenant had many heroic acts, but few min- 
strels. The only tolerable ballads belonging to it are 
"Loudon Hill," celebrating the battle of Drumclog, 
and " Bothwell Brig," a ballad of lamentation. Of the 
songs attached to popular tunes the cause has but one, 
and it is not entirely of a reverend character — it is 
" Blue Bonnets over the Border," intended as a song 
of triumph on Leslie's march to Newcastle. Otherwise 
the minstrelsy is rich in all that picturesquely associ- 
ates itself with the shades as well as the lights of the 
national life. We have the great crimes, with their 
harvest of remorse and retribution. War is there, 
with its patriotic devotion, its heroism, and triumphs 
on the one side ; its calamities and desolation on the 
other. Love, of course, with all its romantic vari- 
ations, is abundant. Superstition enters with its 
horrors ; but it is also sometimes borne on the wings 


of an exquisite fancy, yet so wild and wayward that 
one cannot see what aesthetic law or theory can jus- 
tify it, and yet it pleases.^ 

In Scotland, and perhaps it is the same all over the 

1 Take, in 5'oung Tamlane, the changeling brought up in fairy-land, 
who has found an earthly lady-love, and plans, with her aid, an escape 
from the enchanted land : — 

" Gloomy, gloomy was the night, 
And eerie was the way, 
As fair Janet in her green mantle 
To Miles Cross she did gae." 

And that fair Janet was " eerie," or touched with nervous apprehension, 
is not wonderful, when we have the rehearsal of the scene in which she 
is to take the chief active part : — 

BALLADS AND SONGS, 1560-1660. 35 1 

world, there is no distinct line between tlie " ballad," 
whicb tells a story, and the song, which expi'esses 
abstract sentiment. The same literary history is 
common to both. The song, like the ballad, was in 
the copyright of the people, who altered it to their 

" ' The morn at e'en is Hallowe'en ; 

Our fairy court will ride 
Througli England and tlirougli Scotland baith, 

And through the warld sae wide. 
And if that ye wad borrow nie. 

At Miles Cross ye maun bide. 

And ye maxm gang to the Miles Moss 

Bet"\veen twelve hours and one, 
Tak haly water in your hand, 

And cast a compass roun'.' 

' And how shall I hen thee, Tamlane ? 

And how shall I thee knaw, 
Amang the throng 0' fairy folk. 
The like I never saw ?' 

' The first court that comes along, 

Ye'U let them a' pass by ; 
The neist court that comes along, 
Salute them reverently. 

The third court that comes along 

Is clad in robes 0' green. 
And it's the head court 0' them a', 

And in it rides the queen. 

And I upon a milk-white steed, 

Wi' a gold star in my cro'vsTi ; 
Because I am a christened man 

Tliey gave me that renown. 

Ye'U seize upon me with a spring. 

And to the ground I'll fa', 
And then ye'U hear an eldrich cry 

That Tamlane is awa'. 

They'll turn me in your arms, Janet, 

An adder and a snake ; 
But hand me fast, let me not pass. 

Gin ye wad be my maik. 

They'll turn me in your arms, Janet, 

An adder and an aske ; 
They'll turn me in your arms, Janet, 

A bale that burns fast. 

They'll shape nie in your arms, Janet, 
A dove, but and a swan ; 


mind as it passed on from generation to generation. 
Since Allan Ramsay published liis ' Tea-Table Mis- 
cellany ' these songs have appeared from time to time 
with many variations. It happened in the instance 

And last they'll shape me in your anus 

A mother-naked man. 
Cast your green mantle over me, 

And sae shall I be wan.' " 

— Aytoun's Ballads, i. 9, 

In a story of a different kind, but as waywardly fanciful, the beings 
of the aerial world express themselves on the crime of her who in a fit 
of jealousy murders her fair-haired sister by drowning her in the mill- 
dam of Binnourie. A harper finds the drowned girl, and — 

'^ He has ta'en three locks o' her yellow hair, 
Binnourie, Binnourie ! 
And wi' them strung his harp sae rare. 
By the honnie mill-dams o' Bimiourie. 

He brought the harp to her father's hall, 

Binnourie, Binnourie ! 
And there was the court assembled all. 

By the bonnie mill-dams o' Binnourie. 

He set the harp upon a stane, 

Binnourie, Binnourie ! 
And it began to play alane. 

By the bonnie mill-dams o' Binnourie." 

Tlie lengthy character of the ballad-poetry is inimical to the exempli- 
fication of its imaginative character in extracts. In comparison with 
the epigrammatic and antithetic, which may be exhibited like .separate 
gems, it is, like natural scenery, only to be enjoyed in its full expanse 
and at leisure. Another, however, tempts to citation by its brevity, 
and the touch of bitter pathos in its spirit. It is called " The Twa 
Corbies" : — 

'' As I was walkin' all alane, 
I heard twa corbies making their mane ; 
The tane unto the other did say, 
' Whare shall we get our denner this day ? ' 

' Out ower aside yon auld fail dyke 
I wote there lies a new-slain knight ; 
And naebody kens that he lies there 
But his hawk, his hound, and his lady fair. 

His hound is to the hunting gane. 
His hawk to bring tlie wildfowl harae, 
His lady has ta'en another mate, 
Sa we can make our denner sweet. 

BALLADS AND SONGS, 1560-1660. 353 

of the songs, however, that the genius of Burns broke 
into and disturbed this easy traditional process. He 
so revolutionised and adorned their old versions that 
the songs became his own. The literature of some 
of these songs was so stupid or offensive that it might 
have died unregretted; but attached to the coarse 
clay was, as it were, a soid in the music belonging to 
it, and this it was the mission of Burns to ally with 
fitting poetry. In some instances the song in its old 
shape might have its merits ; but they were not in 
harmony with the habits of the age, and made an un- 
suitable union. Besides what the taste of the present 
day wotdd condemn as absolutely coarse and inde- 
corous, there were characteristics which had ceased to 
be genial to the lyric muse. The bacchanalian song 
still asserts its supremacy, but the feats it records are 
all performed by the male sex. In the Scotland of the 
seventeenth century, what is so often called the gentle, 
and might in later times be called the sober, sex, in- 
dulged to some considerable extent in hard drinking, 
and its feats were celebrated in genial rhyme.^ 

ye'U sit on liis wliite hause bane, 
And I'll pike out his bonny blue een ; 
Wi' ae lock 0' his yellow hair 
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare. 

Mony a ane for him niaks mane, 
But nane shall keu whare he lies slane. 
O'er his white banes, when they are bare, 
The wind shall blaw for ever mair.' " 

1 For instance, take the song called " Andrew and his Cutty Gun" : — 

" Blithe, blithe, blithe was she. 
Blithe was she butt and ben ; 
And weel she lo'ed a Hawick gill. 
And leugh to see a tappit hen." 

The Hawick gill was a measure of liquor peculiar to that district. 
The "tappit hen" was a measure of claret certified on the authority 
of the author of ' Waverley ' to contain " at least three English quarts." 



Although, among recent adapters of new words to 
the old tunes, Burns at least ever improved on what 
he found, the lyrical poetrj superseded by his stronger 
muse was not always despicable. Though unequal in 
the original, and perhaps injured rather than improved 
by. tradition, yet it Avas often enlivened with genial 
touches of the sentiment more vividly and artistically 
expressed by the reconstructor ; and indeed if the 
populace had not been educated to the general tone 
and sentiment of national song, they would not 

The brief air devoted to this Hithe toperess was wanted for a fairer 
spirit, and Burns addressed to a reigning beauty of his day the well- 
known — 

" Blithe, blithe, and merry was she. 
Blithe "vvas she butt and ben ; 
Blithe by the banks of Earn, 
But blither in Glenturrit glen." 

The spirit of feminine joviality comes well out in the following : it 
was much liked by the late Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, who printed 
some copies of it with the music for presentation to his friends : — 

" There were four diTinken maidens 

Together did convene, 
From twelve o'clock in a May morning 

Till ten rang out at e'en, 

Till ten rang out at e'en, 

And then they gied it ower. 
And there's four drunken maidens 

Doun i' the Nether Bow. 

When in came Nelly Paterson, 

With her fine satin go\\Ti : 
' Come, sit about, ye maidens. 

And give to me some room. 

Before that we gie't ower. ' 
And there's four drunken maidens 

Doun i' the Nether Bow. 

Wlien peacock and pigeon. 

And hedgehog and bare. 
And all sorts of fine venison, 

Was well made ready there. 
And set before the maidens 

Before they gied it ower. 
And there's four drunken maidens 

Doun i' the Nether Bow," &c. 

BALLADS AND SONGS, 1560-1660. 355 

have heartily appreciated as they did its revival in 
the eighteenth century.^ 

In a province where adepts claim supreme rule it 
would be presumption in any onlooker to define the 
place occupied by the song-music of Scotland, or even 
to assert that it has a place at all in music, scienti- 
fically speaking. It is among human anomalies that 
the divine gift sent to soothe the savage breast has 
created the fiercest of exterminating wars in the arena 
of controversy, and those claiming absolute supremacy 
in the art have been denied the possession of music 
altogether when the test of science has been applied. 
But we may at least say that the Scottish school has 
done the duty of national music in stirring the heart 
of the people, and bringing a soothing and elevating 

^ The folloTving stanzas, first printed in Watson's Collection in 1711, 
and evidently then modernised, will have a familiar tone to many : — 

" Should old acquaintance be forgot, 

And never thought upon ; 
The flames of love extinguished, 

And freely past and gone ? 
Is thy kind heart now grown so cold 

In that loving breast of thine, 
That thou canst never once reflect 

On old long syne ? " &c. 

Some critics have the audacity to hold that in one instance, at least — 
the restoration of Sir Robert Aytonn's " Inconstancy Reproved " — Burns 
did not beautify the ideas of the old song. The first stanza of this 
is : — 

'^ I do confess thou'rt smooth and fair, 

And I might have gone near to love thee. 
Had I not found the slightest prayer 
That lips could speak had power to move thee ; 
But I can let thee now alone, 
As worthy to be loved by none." 

Burns, varying the measure, begins ; — 

'' I do confess thou art so fair 

I wad been o'er the lugs In love. 
Had I na found the slightest prayer 
Tliat lips could speak thy heart could move." 


element into a national character apt to be otherwise 
hard and rueaed. The strength of its influence has 
been shown among the many wanderers over the 
world, who have found in it the most powerful solace 
and enjoyment that music can confer in the associa- 
tion of the past and present, and the recall of home 

When the music of the people found its way into 
higher social regions at home, whence it spread 
abroad, the artists of the legitimate and established 
schools complained bitterly of the caprice of fashion 
which doomed them to make something endurable 
out of the discordant jargon of a rude peasantry. 
But the taste has held its own for now nearly a hun- 
dred years, and is old enough to merge from a fashion 
into a school. Nor was it utterly destitute of older 
appreciation in high places. Dryden, when he was 
dressing up Chaucer's stories in presentable modern 
costume, says that although the voice of their author 
is not deemed harmonious to a modern audience, 
" they who lived with him and some time after him 
thought it musical ; and it continues so even in our 

^ The following pleasant little story occurs in that old collection of 
qiiestionahle archaeology, Verstegan's 'Restitntion of decayed Intelli- 
gence ' : "So fell it out of late years that an English gentleman 
travelling hi Palestine, not far from Jerusalem, as lie pursued through 
a country town he heard by cliance a woman, sitting at her door 
dandling her child, to sing ' Botliwell Bank, thou bloomest fayre.' The 
gentleman hereat exceedingly wondered, and forthwith in English 
saluted the woman, who joyfully answered him, and said she was right 
glad there to see a gentleman of our isle, and told him that she was 
a Scottish woman, and came first from Scotland to Venice, and from 
Venice to thither, where her fortune was to he the wife of an officer 
under the Turk, who being at that instant absent and very soon to 
return, entreated the gentleman to stay there until his return ; tlie which 
he did." 

MUSIC, 1560-1660. 357 

judgment, if compared with the numbers of Lidgate 
and Gower, his contemporaries. There is the rude 
sweetness of a Scotch tune in it, which is natural 
and pleasing though not perfect." ^ 

Much conjectural matter has been written about the 
origin of Scottish music, discussing among others the 
question Avhether it was the creation of one of the 
artistic favourites of James III., or was brought 
over and naturalised by David Rizzio. That much of 
of it is as old, at least, as the sixteenth century, was 
proved by a manuscript collection of the tunes them- 
selves in a handwriting and notation which brought 
them back close to that period. The collection had 
the fortune to be edited by a man of scholarly attain- 
ments, who had devoted himself to musical science. 
His conclusion on their value as preserving the music 
of the country in its original purity is : " The favour- 
able contrast which many of the Scottish airs therein 
contained present to the dull, tiresome, meretricious 
productions which from time to time have been palmed 
off upon the public under that name, and the vitiated 
copies of the same tunes which have been handed 
down by tradition alone, are among the most gratify- 
ing results of its discovery. We are now no longer 
at a loss for a standard by which we can test the 
genuineness of our national music, distinguishing the 
true from the false, and separate the pure ore from all 
admixture of baser metal." ^ 

' Works, Wharton's edition, iii. 27. 

^ Ancient Scottisli Melodies, from a Manuscript of the Reign of King 
James the Sixth ; mth an Introductory Inquiry, illustrative of the His- 
tory of the Music of Scotland, by WiUiani Dauney, Esq., F.S.A., Scot- 
land. ITie original book is called ' The Skene Manuscript;' and on the 
question whether it was a favourite possession of that oracle of the law 


Before the period now readied the country had 
made some worthy contributions to the graver sciences. 
The logarithmic tables of John Napier of Merchiston 
may be counted the grandest discovery in the united 
sciences of algebra and arithmetic that can be brought 
home to any one discoverer. As a machine for over- 
coming the difficulty of working with large and com- 
plicated numbers, it may vie with the invention of 
what we call the Arabic numeration, because we do 
not know by whom it was invented, or where or 
when, but have reason to suppose that its first use 
was in Arabia. Like this numeration, so familiar to 
all who have gone through the first steps of education, 
the logarithm is in its elementary principle beauti- 
fully simple. Take a series of numbers increasing by 
arithmetical progression, or with the same distance 
between each, as 1, 2, 3, 4, &c., where the distance is 
from one unit to another. Connect them with a set 
of numbers marching on by mathematical progression 
or multiplication. To multiply one of these by the 
other, perform the simple task of adding together the 
number attached to them in arithmetical progression. 
Take the result of the addition to its place in the 
arithmetical series — above it stands the product of the 

Sir John Skene, the editor says : " Altliough music was an accomplish- 
ment infinitely more yommon — among gentlemen at least — than at 
present, there is no information on record " " that he was either a 
proficient in or a patron of the art of music" (p. 12). In his celebrated 
work of reference, ' De Verhorum Signiticatione,' Skene has " Ifenetum, 
Leg. Forest, C. 2, ane stockhorn ;'' " cornare menetum, to blaw ane 
stockhorn, whilk commonly is made of timmer-wood or tree, with circles 
or girds of the same, whilk is yet used in the Highlands and Isles of this 
realm ; where I have seen the like in the country of Helvetia, in the 
year of God one thousand five hundred sixty- nucht, among the 
Switzers." May we infer that the man who jiut matter like this into 
a law dictionary must have had a liking for music ? 

SCIENCE, 1560-1660. 359 

multiplication of the two numbers of the geometrical 
series. Through this means, instead of each mathe- 
matician, astronomer, or other adept who has to deal 
with large numbers, having to make his own calcula- 
tions, they can be made beforehand by persons whose 
business it is to do so, and can be stored apart for use. 
The union of simplicity and power in this invention 
was well expressed by the great astronomer Henry 
Briggs, who made a pilgrimage to the inventor's 
tower and observatory in Edinburgh. He said to 
Napier : " Sir, I have undertaken this long journey 
purposely to see your person, and to know by what 
engine of wit or ingenuity you came first to think of 
this most excellent help unto astronomy — viz., the 
logarithms ; but, sir, being by you found out, I 
wonder why nobody else found it out before, when, 
now being known, it appears so easy."^ 

The trigonometrical discoveries, adapted to the meas- 
uring of great distances, and especially to astronomy, 
had gone so far as to make the labour of calculation 
by the ordinary methods a heavy burthen on further 
discovery, and without such a facility it became clear 
that the progress of astronomical discovery was so 
impeded that its final stoppage might be anticipated. 
The vast saving to mental labour effected by this 
adjustment, so simple in its principle, may be esti- 
mated by a mere glance at any large collection of 
logarithmic tables, such as those prepared under the 
auspices of the first Napoleon.^ 

1 Memoirs of Napier of Merchiston by Mark Napier, p. 409. 

^ The system was announced by its inventor in 1614 under the title 
' Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio ejusque usus, in utraque 
Trigonometria ; ut etiam in omni Logistica Mathematica amplissinii, 
&c., explicatio.' Printed at Edinburgh by Andrew Hart. The ivory 


A rival both in power and in simplicity to Napier's 
invention was that made by James Gregory, forty 
years later, in mechanical optics. The magnifying 
influence of a convex lens must have its equivalent 
on a concave mirror. Thus the difficulty that the 
enlargement of the magnifier tended to the obscurity 
of the image was conc[uered. The discovery was not 
the less a triumph of pure science that there was no 
mechanic of the day, either in England or Scotland, 
who had skill enough to give effect to it. The philo- 
sopher, not the less confident in his knowledge, left 
it as a truth in natural philosophy not to be doubted, 
and afterwards the reflecting telescope of the astrono- 
mers proved the soundness of his reliance. James 
Gregory never used or saw a reflecting telescope, yet 
that powerful instrument is coupled with his name as 
its inventor. 

Scotland owned in the seventeenth century another 
discoverer still less fortunate — George Dalgarno. Of 
one of his achievements another got the use and credit. 
A second died along with the memory of its author. 
It is admitted that Bishop Wilkins derived from him 
the leading idea of his elaborate ' Essay towards a Eeal 
Character and a Philosophical Language.' ^ This 
belongs to the speculative sciences, where the value of 
discoveries may be appreciated by fellow -students, 
but cannot be weighed before the world as realities. 

tablets called " Napier's bones," or " rods," do not contain logarithmic 
tables, but adjustments for facilitating multiplication and division. 

' Wilkins published this in 1668. Among the scanty notices of Dalgarno, 
it is known that Wilkins was acquainted with him. Dalgarno's book, 
jiublished in London in 1661, is called ' Ars Signorum vulgo Character 
Universalis et Lingvia Philosophioa. Authore, Geo. Dalgarno. Hoc 

SCIENCE, 1560-1660. 361 

But Dalgarno's other discovery — the method of 
teaching the deaf to read and speak — was eminently 

It was not until the project had been rediscovered 
and put in effective practice that the curious iu obscure 
philosophical literature found the buried discovery of 
Dalgarno. Its character may be best expressed in the 
words of Dugald Stewart: "After having thus paid 
the tribute of my sincere respect to the enlightened 
and benevolent exertions of a celebrated foreigner 
[the Abbe Sicard], I feel myself called on to lay hold 
of the only opportunity that may occur to me of 
rescuing from oblivion the name of a Scottish Avriter 
whose merits have been strangely overlooked both by 
his contemporaries and by his successors. The person 
I allude to is George Dalgarno, who more than a 
hundred years ago was led by his own sagacity to 
adopt, a priori, the same general conclusion concern- 
ing the education of the dumb, of which the experi- 
mental discovery and the happy application have in 
our days reflected such merited lustre on the name of 
Sicard. "2 

1 ' Didascalocoplius ; or, The Deaf-and-Dvimb Man's Tutor ; to which 
is added a Discourse of the Nature and Number of Double Consonants 
— both which Tracts being the first (for what the author knows) that 
have been published upon either of the subjects. Printed at the 
Theatre in Oxford anno Dom. 1680.' Both works were edited by the 
late Lord Dundrennan for the Maitland Club, with the title, ' The Works 
of George Dalgarno of Aberdeen, 1834.' 

" Philosophy, cited introduction to Dalgarno, p. vii. 

Dalgarno adorns his ideas with some touches of quaint eloquence : 
" The soul can exert her powers by the ministry of any of the senses- ; 
and therefore when she is deprived of her principal secretaries, the eye 
and the ear, then she must be contented with the service of her lackeys 
and scullions the other senses, which are no less true and faithful to their 
mistress than the eye and the ear, but not so quick for despatch." 

"As I think the eye to be as docile as the ear, so neither see I any 


There was too much strife and too little wealth in 
the Scotland of early days to let it be a favourable 
field for art. Yet the c[uict for some years following 
the Union produced one considerable artist — George 
Jamesone. He was born in Aberdeen, and there he 
settled as a portrait-painter about the year 1620. In 
later days the artist in that and other towns of Scot- 
land has generally gravitated towards Edinburgh; but, 
as we have seen,'_the northern town was of old a sort of 
metropolis in itself. There clustered round its cathe- 
dral and university a group of scholars, and there 
was a wealthy territorial aristocracy around, so that it 
was perhaps the most promising spot in Scotland for 
the growth of an artist. It is, at all events, fortunate 
that in the quiet, before the storm of civil war was to 
burst, there was one able to commemorate the features 
of so many of those who were to be actors on the 

It has been said and often repeated that Jamesone 
studied along with Vandyke under Eubens. But no 
authority can be found for this ; and if he had such 
opportunities, he brought little with him either from 
his master or his fellow-pupil. His pictures are quiet, 
with nothing of the stirring life that filled the canvas 
under the powerful brush of Rubens. Nor has he 

reason but the hand might be made as tractable an organ as the tongue ; 
and as soon brought to form, if not fair, at least legible characters, as 
the tongue to imitate and echo back articulate sounds." 

" The hand is-^at least is capable of being made — a more serviceable 
organ of interpretation to the soul than the tongue ; for it has access to 
its mistress's soul by the door of three senses, — 1st, of hearing by aulo- 
logy ; 2d, of seeing by both species of schematology- — to wit, Typology and 
Dactylology ; 3d, of feeling by Haptology, — whereas the tongue can only 
enter by the door of one sense, and do its message only by one kind of 
interpretation. Glossology." — Works, 131. 

ART, 1560-1660. 363 

that wonderful gradation of light and shade, of aerial 
perspective, which makes the human figure stand forth 
so clear from all the rest in Vandyke's portraits. 
Jamesone gives his heads light upon a very dark 
ground ; but the painting is thin, with few gradations 
of shade, and there is little of the artist anywhere 
save in the head itself. His principal patron was the 
chief of the house of Breadalbane, and hence many 
specimens of his work are to be found at Taymouth. 
There are several in the two colleges of the Univer- 
sity of Aberdeen. Perhaps the best known, because 
most readily seen of his works, is the portrait of Sir 
Thomas Hope in the Advocates' Library.^ One of 
the pleasantest of all his achievements was engraved 
by his grandson Alexander, and re-engraved for Dal- 
laway's edition of AValpole's ' Anecdotes of Painters.' 
It is a family group — the artist himself with his pallet 
and brushes, his comely wife with the tartan snood of 
the day, and their chubby child. We know that 
Jamesone worked in a pavilion or pleasure-house within 
a garden, after the Dutch and Flemish fashion, save 
that it stood on the brink of a brawling brook instead 
of a ditch. When we have the portraits, the muni- 
ficent patrons, the artist himself at work in his studio 
decorated by his own brush, we have something like 
a chapter out of the social history of the Netherlands. 
The final touch is given to the little episode of prem- 

1 There are two entries in the great lawyer's diary: "20 Julii 1638, 

Fryday. This day William Jamesoun, painter (at the ernest desire of 

ray son Alexander), was suflferit to draw my pictur. 27 Julii 1638. — Item, 
a second draiight by William Jamesom." Hope was extremely miniite, 
as some instances have shown us, in his entries in his diary, but he does 
not seem to have acquired accuracy about such a trifle as an artist's 


ature civilisation, when we find the poet Arthur John- 
ston describing the whole within the terse limits of a 
Latin epigram. On the whole, it must be admitted 
that the claims to immortality of this one Scottish 
painter are founded somewhat on the poverty of neigh- 
bours, and that he would not have been so widely 
celebrated had it not been that England had no artist 
so good until, a little later, Dobson came forth. 

The doctrines of the Covenanting party were inim- 
ical to the plastic arts, from the belief that they had 
been subservient to the breach of the second com- 
mandment, and if encouraged might again be so. In 
England, even in the small parochial churches, we can 
trace with nicety the changing types of ecclesiastical 
architecture, from the debasement, as it has been called, 
of the classical into the Norman, on through the various 
stages, until, by what is called another debasement, 
the perpendicular is mixed with classical restorations 
in the seventeenth century. But the progress of 
ecclesiastical architecture in Scotland stopped in the 
year 1560. From that year, in the building of 
churches, not only all decoration ceased, but along 
with it all beauty and symmetry departed, leaving, in 
the places of Christian worship, objects as displeasing 
to the eye as buildings could be made. One exception 
to this generality is in itself significant. We have 
met with the name of Archbishop Spottiswood as a 
friend of the innovations of King James in the direc- 
tion of Episcopacy. He had it in purpose, as his 
biographer says, " the restoring the ancient discipline, 
and bringing that Church to some degree of uniformity 
with her sister Church of England, which, had we on 
both sides been worthy of, might have proved a wall 

ART, 1 560-1660. 365 

of brass to botli nations." Besides his more con- 
spicuous work as an ecclesiastical politician, lie left a 
local relic of his zeal in a parish church in Fifeshire, 
built, as he thought, after the Gothic models. In the 
words of the same author, " he publicly, upon his own 
charges, built and adorned the church of Dairsie after 
the decent English form, which if the boisterous hand 
of a mad Reformation had not disordered, is at this 
time one of the beautifulest little pieces of church- 
work that is left in that unhappy country." ^ But 
what is left of Dairsie church only shows that the hand 
of the builder had lost its cunning, and that neither 
the prelate nor his biographer had an eye for medi- 
eval art. It is a piece of cold mimicry, like the 
work of the cabinetmaker rather than of the architect. 
The tracery of the windows, for instance, instead of 
being the utmost degree of united beauty and strength 
to be obtained by laying one stone on another, seems 
like openings stamped into a Hat slab of stone. In 
this it has too much in common with some of the 
efforts towards Gothic at the present day. It is a 
mistake to suppose that the art created by centuries of 
study and labour can be mimicked offhand. But it 
is of far more importance that these efforts, such as 
they are, have been made by the representatives in the 
present day of those religious communities which 
from the Reformation to the existing generation held 
in detestation all sesthetic effort in the building of 
places of worship. 

In baronial architecture and dwelling-houses there 
was a great advance between the Reformation and 

1 The author's Life, prefixed to ' History of the Church and State of 


the Restoration. The French style of tall round 
towers or turrets with conical tops prevailed. In 
some instances the old square tower was surmounted 
with turrets and other decorations, and many dwel- 
lings were wholly built in the style of Chantilly and 
other great French chateaus. Of these there are 
fine specimens in Winton, Pinkie, Glammis, Fyvie, 
Castle Fraser, Craigievar, and Crathes. Heriot's 
Hospital is a curious modification of 'this style. It 
was designed by Sir Robert Aytoun the poet, who 
evidently appears to have sought to bring the 
rambling picturesque character of the French style 
into a rigid symmetry, like that which prevails in the 
classical styles. It may be noted that the little corner 
turrets did not belong to his original plan. In this 
the towers were to be carried up into high, abruptly- 
shapen pavilion roofs, after the French fashion, as 
exemplified in the Tuileries. These petty turrets 
depart essentially from the rule that some useful end 
should be the object of all building — they are too 
small to serve as flanking works, or to be in any way 
of service to the main building.-^ 

Some of these turreted mansions are decorated with 
sculpture, chiefly in pargeted ceilings. But there is 
nothing national in these works. The medallioned 
heads represent, not the worthies of Scotland, but King 

' To Sir Robert Aytoun, who was thus an artist as well as a poet, 
there is a monument in Westminster ALbey. It is rich in decoration, 
and yet in simplicity and beauty it stands in favourable contrast to 
many of its neighliours. It is engraved in Smith's ' Oeconographia Scotica.' 
We have a little morsel of incidental evidence that his opinions were 
not inherited by his descendant the author of the ' Lays of the Cavaliers.' 
He was master of an art in high esteem in its day — that of caligraphy, 
or decorated penmanship ; and he exercised this art in writing out il- 
luminated copies of the Confession of Faith, some of which still exist. 

THE TOWNS, I 5 60- 1 660. 367 

David, Hector of Troy, Alexander the Great, and 
other persons eminent in Scripture or classical litera- 
ture. They were probably the work of Italian and 
Netherland artists, made for the general market of the 

It is evident that the citizen middle class in the 
towns rapidly advanced in wealth and comfort after 
the union of the crowns. Like the country mansions, 
the streets and houses followed Continental examples 
rather than English, in the piling of house above house. 
There was an obvious reason for this. England was, 
during the dynasty of the Tudors, almost the only part 
of Europe where towns did not require to be walled. In 
Scotland they were liable to attack from the English 
on' the one side and from the Highlanders on the 
other. But any one alike familiar with the Scots 
borough town and the municipalities of France, Ger- 
many, and the Low Countries, sees that Scotland was 
some two hundred years later in the progress of the 
more material part of culture. The town - houses 
earlier than the seventeenth century are in Scotland 
extremely rare, perhaps even in Edinburgh they do 
not amount to half-a-dozen. Thus, although there, and 
in Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, and the small towns of 
Fifeshire, the old houses are many, their age as a rule 
does not go back behind the union of the crowns. 

The old Scots town was not so unpleasant a place of 
residence, nor so hostile to the laws of health, as it 
became when modern buildings enlarged its area. The 
old idea was to run up one long street on a ridge of 
hill if such ground were available. The street itself 
was close and dirty, but each house had its garden 
sloping clown towards the open country. 


The following sketch of Aberdeen by a Cavalier 
country gentlemen gives an impression not unpleas- 
ing : "It is easy to conjecture that the closes, lanes, 
and streets have not been at the first building chalked 
out or designed by any geometrical rule. The build- 
ings of the town are of stone and lime, rigged above, 
covered with slates, mostly of three or four storeys 
height, some of them higher. The streets are all 
neatly paved with flint-stone, or a grey kind of hard 
stone not unlike to flint. The dwelling-houses are 
cleanly and beautiful and neat both within and with- 
out, and the side that looks to the street mostly 
adorned with galleries of timber, which they call fore- 
stairs. Many houses have their gardens and orchards 
adjoining. Every garden has its postern, and these 
are planted with all sorts of trees which the climate 
will sufl'er to grow ; so that the whole town, to such as 
draw near it upon some sides of it, looks as if it stood 
in a garden or little wood." ^ 

Sir William Brereton, a gentleman of Cheshire, might 
claim the merit of being the earliest of a prolific race 
— the tourists in Scotland. He was among the first 
to leave memorials of what he saw there. He visited 
Edinburgh, and then rambled westward, in the year 
1634. Perhaps his experience of the Scottish capital 
may be read with some interest : — 

" This Saturday, after dinner, I took a view of the 
castle here, which is seated very high and sufiiciently 
commanding, and being able to batter the town. This 
is also seated upon the top of a most hard rock, and 
the passage whereunto was (as they there report) made 
through that hard and impregnable rock, which cannot 

' (jordon of Rothiemay's description of Aberdeen, 9. 

THE TOWNS, 1 560-1660. 369 

be touched or hewed ; and it is indeed a stately pas- 
sage, wherein was used more industry, pains, art, and 
endeavour, than in any place I have found amongst 
the Scotts. It is but a very little castle, of no great 
receipt, but mighty strength ; it is called Castrum 
Puellarum, because the kings of the Picts kept their 
virgins therein. Upon the wall of the castle, towards 
the top, is this insculpsion, part thereof gilt, — a crown 
and sceptre, and dagger placed under it crosswise, 
with this superscription : ' Nobis hsec invicta miserunt 
106 Proavi.' The same arms and inscription is placed 
upon the front of the abbey, which is the king's house. 
Out of the court of this high-seated castle, there Avas 
one that watched (a soldier in his turn) in a little 
wooden house or cabin, which by a whirlwind was 
taken and thrown down both together over the castle- 
wall and to the bottom of this high and steep rock, 
and the man not hurt or bruised, save only his 
finger put out of joint. Hence you may take a full 
view of the situation of the whole city, which is built 
upon a hill nothing oversteep, but sufficiently sloping 
and ascending to give a graceful ascent to the great 
street, which I do take to be an English mile long, 
and is the best paved street with bowther - stones 
(which are very great ones) that I have seen. The 
channels are very conveniently contrived on both 
sides the streets, so as there is none in the middle ; 
but it is the broadest, largest, and fairest pavement, 
and that entire, to go, ride, or draw upon. 

" Here they usually walk in the middle of the street, 
which is a fair, spacious, and capacious walk. This 
street is the glory and beauty of this city : it is the 
broadest street (except in the Low Countries, where 

VOL. VII. '2 A 


there is a navio-able channel in middle of the street) 
and the longest street I have seen, which begins at 
the palace, the gate whereof enters straight into the 
suburbs, and is placed at the lower end of the same. 
The suburbs make an handsome street ; and indeed 
the street, if the houses, which are very high, and 
substantially built of stone (some five, some six stories 
high), were not lined to the outside and faced with 
boards, it were the most stately and graceful street 
that ever I saw in my life ; but this face of boards, 
which is towards the street, doth much blemish it, 
and derogate from glory and beauty ; as also the want 
of fair glass windows, whereof few or none are to 
be discerned towards the street, which is the more 
complete, because it is as straight as may be. This 
lining with boards (wherein arc round holes shaped to 
the proportion of men's heads), and this encroachment 
into the street about two yards, is a mighty disgrace 
unto it, for the walls (which were the outside) are 
stone ; so, as if this outside facing of boards were 
removed, and the houses bu.ilt uniform all of the same 
height, it were the most complete street in Christendom. 
" This city is placed in a dainty, healthful, pure air, 
and doubtless were a most healthful place to live in 
were not the inhabitants most sluttish, nasty, and sloth- 
ful people. I could never pass through the hall but 
I was constrained to hold my nose : their chambers, 
vessels, linen, and meat, nothing neat, but very slov- 
enly ; only the nobler and better sort of them brave, 
well-bred men, and much reformed. This street, 
which may indeed deserve to denominate the whole 
city, is always full thronged with people, it being the 
market-place, and the only j^lace where the gentlemen 

THE TOWNS, 1560-1660. 371 

and mercliants meet and walk, wherein they may 
walk dry under foot, though there hath been abun- 
dance of ram. Some few coaches are here to be found 
for some of the great lords and ladies and bishops. 

" Touching the fashion of the citizens, the women 
here Avear and use upon festival days six or seven 
several habits and fashions ; some for distinction of 
widows, wives, and maids, others apparelled accord- 
ing to their own humour and phantasy. JMany wear 
(especially of the meaner sort) plaids, which is a gar- 
ment of the same woollen stuff whereof saddle-cloths 
in England are made, which is cast over their heads, 
and covers their faces on both sides, and would reach 
almost to the ground, but that they pluck them up 
and wear them cast under their arms. Some ancient 
women and citizens wear satin straight-bodied gowns, 
short little cloaks with great capes, and a broad boun- 
grace coming over their brows, and going out with a 
corner behind their heads ; and this boun-grace is, as 
it were, lined with a white stracht cambric suitable 
unto it. Young maids not married all are bareheaded; 
some with broad thin shag ruffs, which lie flat to their 
shoulders, and others with half bands with wide necks, 
either much stiffened or set in wire, which comes only 
behind ; and these shag ruffs some are more broad and 
thick than others."^ 

To the sense of the English baronet of that day 
there was of course in Scotland much poverty, dirt, 
and discomfort. But the people of the Lowlands did 
not lie down on a dreary dead level of common wretch- 
edness, like the Highlanders and the Irish. There 
were brighter varieties here and there, giving the hope 

1 Brereton's Travels, KU-IOS. 


of pvugTC'ss. In the small towns on the Ayrshire coast 
he finds comfort and pleasantness. Irvine is " daintily 
situate, both upon a navigable arm of the sea, and in 
a dainty, pleasant, level, champaign country. Excel- 
lent good corn there is near unto it, where the ground 
is enriched or made fruitful with the seaweed or lime." 
" Hence they trade much into Bourdeaux, in France, 
and are now furnished with good wine." He goes on 
to Ayr, " where is a cleanly neat hostess, victuals 
handsomely cooked, and good lodging." " This also 
is a dainty, pleasant-seated town; much plain rich 
corn-land about it." " Most inhabiting in the town 
are merchants trading into and bred in France." On 
these relics of the old French league follows a grievance 
significant of the period of Brereton's visit : " Inquir- 
ing of my hostess touching the minister of the town, 
she complained much against him, because he doth 
so violently press the ceremonies — especially she in- 
stanced in kneeling at the communion ; whereupon, 
upon Easter Day last, as soon as he went to the com- 
munion-table, the people all left the church and de- 
parted, and not one of them stayed — only the pastor 

From these small trading seaports, with their humble 
amenities, the traveller passes on to Culzean, the cas- 
tellated mansion of the powerful Kennedies, and there 
his sketch is somewhat of the Irish type. It is " a 
pretty pleasant-seated house or castle, which looks full 
upon the main sea. Hereunto we went, and there found 
no hall, only a dining-room or hall, a fair room, and 
almost as large as the whole pile, but very sluttishly 
kept, unswept, dishes, trenchers, and wooden cups 
thrown up and down, and the room very nasty and 
unsavoury. Here we were not enteitained with a cup 

THE TOWNS, 1 560-1660. 373 

of bear or ale ; only one of his sons, servants, and 
others, took a candle and conducted us to the cave, 
where there is either a notable imposture, or most 
strange and much-to-be-admired footsteps and im- 
pressions which are here to be seen of men, children, 
dogs, coneys, and divers other creatures. These here 
conceived to be spirits, and if there be no such thing 
but an elaborate practice to deceive, they do most 
impudently betray the truth ; for one of this 
knight's sons and another Galloway gentleman 
affirmed unto me that all the footsteps have been put 
out and buried in sand overnight, and have been ob- 
served to be renewed next morning. This cave hath 
many narrow passages and doors, galleries also, and 
a closet with many rooms hewed with mighty labour 
out of an hard limestone rock." It is generally so 
with the remarkable features of scenery visited by 
the traveller- — they are surrounded by an atmosphere 
of superstition, flavoured to his English mind with 

Let us next find how our traveller fared in Glasgow, 
a place of mark even at that early period : — 

" About one hour we came to the city of Glasgoaw, 
which is thirty-six miles from Edenburgh, eighteen 
from Failkirke. This is an archbishop's seat, an 
ancient university, one only college consisting of 
about one hundred and twenty students, wherein are 
four schools, one principal, four regents. There are 
about six or seven thousand communicants, and about 
twenty thousand persons in the town, which is famous 
for the church, which is fairest and stateliest in Scot- 
land, for the toUboothe and bridge. 

" This church I viewed this day, and found it a 
brave and ancient piece. It was said, in this church 


this day, tliat there was a contribution throughout 
Europe (even Eome itself contributed) towards the 
building hereof. There is a great partition or wall 
'twixt the body of the church and the chancel. There 
is no use of the body of the church, only divine service 
and sermon is used and performed in the quire or 
chancel, which is built and framed churchwise ; and 
under this quire there is also another church, which 
carries the same proportion under this, wherein also 
there is two sermons every Lord's Day. Three places 
or rooms one above another, round and uniformed, like 
unto chapter - houses, which are complete buildings 
and rooms. 

" The toleboothe, which is placed in the middle of 
the town, and near unto the cross and market-place, is a 
very fair and high-built house, from the top Avhereof, 
being leaded, you may take a full view and prospect 
of the whole city. In one of these rooms or chambers 
sits the council of this cit}' ; in other of the rooms or 
chambers j^reparation is made for the lords of the 
council to meet in — these stately rooms. Herein is a 
closet lined Avith iron — walls, top, bottom, floor, and 
door iron — wherein are kept the evidences and records 
of the city : this made to prevent the danger of fire. 
This tolebooth said to be the fairest in this kingdom. 
The revenues belonging to this city are about £1000 
per annum. This town is built : two streets, which 
are built like a cross, in the middle of both which the 
cross is placed, which looks four ways into four streets, 
though indeed they be but two straight streets — the 
one reaching from the church to the bridge, a mile 
long; the other, which crosseth that, is much shorter."^ 

1 Brereton's Travels, 114, 115. 

THE TOWNS, 1560-1660. 375 

Here the Englishman came across a feature social 
and political, familiar enough to him in England, but 
soon to become alien to Scotland. He went to the 
archiepiscopal palace, " and going into the hall, which 
is a poor and mean place, the archbishop's daughter, 
an handsome and well-bred proper gentlewoman, en- 
tertained me with much civil respect, and would not 
suffer me to depart until I had drunk Scotch ale, 
which was the best I had tasted in Scotland."^ 

A few years afterwards, and during the Protectorate, 
Glasgow received a visit from another Englishman, 
named Richard Frank. He wrote a book of consid- 
erable bulk, already referred to, called ' Northern Me- 
moirs, calculated for the Meridian of Scotland.' He 
followed a hyperbolical style just coming into fashion, 
and manages, with a vast abundance of words, to say 
wonderfully little. The serious business of life to him 
was fly-fishing, and experienced anglers have said that 
his book proves him to have been a highly-accom- 
plished adept in this art. He proceeds " to discourse 
this eminent Glasgow, which is a city girded about with 
a strong stone wall, within whose flourishing arms the 
industrious inhabitant cultivates art to the utmost": — 

" Here it is you may observe good, large, fair streets, 
modelled, as it were, into a spacious quadrant, in the 
centre whereof their market-place is fixed ; near unto 
which stands a stately tolbooth, a very sumptuous, 
regulated, uniform fabric, large and lofty, most indus- 
triously and artificially carved from the very founda- 
tion to the superstructure, to the great admiration of 
strano-ers and travellers. But this state-house or tol- 
booth is their western prodigy, infinitely excelling the 

^ Brcreton's Travels, 117. 


model and usual built of town-halls, and is without 
exception the paragon of beauty in the west." 

After much digression he returns " to consider the 
merchants and traders in this eminent Glasgow, whose 
storehouses and warehouses are stuffed with merchan- 
dise, as their shops swell big with foreign commodi- 
ties and returns from France and other remote parts." 
He finds that " they generally exceed in good French 
wines, as they naturally superabound with flesh and 
fowl." Before he departs he pays Glasgow the highest 
compliment at his disposal : " What to say of this 
eminent Glasgow I know not, except to fancy a smell 
of my native country. The very prospect of this 
flourishing city reminds me of the beautiful fabrics 
and the florid fields of England." And again : " The 
linen, I also observed, was very neatly lapped uj), and, 
to their praise be it spoken, was lavender-proof; 
besides, the people were decently dressed, and such an 
exact decorum in every society represents it to my 
apprehension an emblem of England, though in some 
measure under a deeper die." ^ 

The moi'ality of a country is no doubt the most 
essential chapter in its social history; but it is perhaps 
better to leave it to come forth in the narrative of 
events, than to offer a summary of its condition. There 
are many barriers in the way of such an attempt. In 
the quarrels of the age all moral conditions were exag- 
gerated. The opposite sides not only maligned each 
other, but sometimes maligned themselves. With the 
Cavalier party there was the spirit put by Scott into 
the mouth of the tipsy butler, who explained that a 
Cavalier serving-man must drink and swear according 

' Northern Memoirs, 104-107. 

MORALS, 1560-1660. m 

to his degree, lest he be mistaken for a Puritanical 
Roundhead. In some instances, too, where the Cove- 
nanting party in the Church have summed up the sins 
of the land as a testimony to their own inefficiency in 
restraining them, there is a tendency to aggravate 
their enormity; and this tendency is flavoured by a 
propensity to seek for parallels in the denunciations 
of the prophets of old, who had often to address 
themselves to such brutalised conditions as we cannot 
suppose to have existed in any part of Britain. 

In the manifesto of 1651, published at greater length 
in 1653, called 'The Causes of the Lord's Wrath 
against Scotland, manifested in His sad late Dispensa- 
tions,' one might expect some account of the current 
matters of the day; but it is little to the purpose to 
find, along with texts hinting at worse evils, such 
standard pulpit denunciations as the " Woe to them 
that rise up early in the morning to drink strong drink ! " 
&c. ; or, " There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which 
bought fish and all manner of ware, which they sold to 
the children of Judah and Jerusalem on the Sabbath." 

In the golden age of the Melville supremacy we 
have found the ecclesiastical authorities issuing their 
stringent instructions to their executive to enforce 
the rule of righteousness, immediately accompanied 
by accusations tending, if not intended, to prove the 
futility of their corrective organisation. When they 
recovered their powers with the Covenant, the old 
eff'orts, and bewailings of their insufficiency, were re- 
peated in the old form, as if it Avere a precedent for a 
ceremonial routine.^ 

^ The Synod of Fife, for instance, in the year 1650, established a 
powerful social police lender a rule " that every parish be divided into 


If we are to take the intellectual triumphs of a 
people — their accomplishments in literature, science, 
and art — as marking the highest deyelopment of their 
social existence, we come at the other end to the super- 
stitious that degrade and enslave the intellect. They 
are together the light and the shade, the day and the 
night, of the intellectual circle. The prevalent super- 
stitions of Scotland had a growth assimilated to the 
character of the country, as a land rugged and barren, 
swept by stormy winds, penetrated by long, \\'ild 
stretches of sea - lochs, and cut by rapid torrents. 
Among a people trained in such physical conditions the 
pallid spectre of the J^nglish churchyard was of little 
account as an object of fireside terror, nor were the 
household imps familiar in old English village life of 
much moment. In place of these, Ffam stalked with his 
torn-up tree over the ridge of the misty mountain ; he 
was the optical delusion produced by magnified reflec- 
tion on the mist, and was of kin to the renowned spec- 
tre of the Broken. There was the kelpie who strangled 
the traveller in the stream, or swelled it into a flood 
to sweep him clown to destruction ; and in many 

several quarters, and eacli elder Ids own quarter, over which he is to 
have special inspection, and that every elder visit his quarter once every 
month at least." They ai-e to " take notice of all disorderly walkers, 
especially neglecters of God's worship in their families, swearers, 
haunters of ale-houses, especially at unseasonable hours, and long sitters 
there and drinkers of healths, and that they delate these to the session." 
Soon afterwards the}- enacted a day of humiliation for the sins 
of the land. Among these they specify "the great and general con- 
tempt of the grace of the Gospel, the conversation of many of the pro- 
fessors being not as becometh the Gospel; " and "the many abominable 
sins, as contempt and mocking of piety, gross uncleanness, intemperance, 
breach of Sabbatli, swearing, injustice, murmuring against God abound- 
ing while we are under the Lord's afflicting hand." — Selections from the 
Minutes of the Synod of Fife, 168-175. 

SUPERSTITIONS, 1560-1660. 379 

other shapes the casualties fatal to life in a country 
lull of dangers were connected with supernatural 
agencies as cause and effect. The picturesque pro- 
p)hetic superstition of the " second sight " was the 
exclusive possession of natives of the farthest High- 
lands, who had a world of supernatural beings and 
agencies peculiar to themselves. But there was one 
superstition overshadowing all others in the extent of 
its horrible influence, as spreading suspicion and ter- 
ror through the community, and driving it to acts 
of ferocity and cruelty. As the pursuit of the Witch 
rapidly increased in frequency over Europe after the 
Reformation, the ingenious theory has been suggested, 
that a certain amount of superstition is an intellectual 
necessary of life to mankind according to their condi- 
tion in culture, and if it is not supplied to them they 
will take it. Hence, not having it in the decorous 
and pompous ceremonials in which it was administered 
to them by the Church of Rome, they took it as supplied 
by their own degraded and unguided fancies. But 
another explanation of this superstition suggests itself 
Through much investigation into certain phenomena, 
a laborious classification of the results, and a deduction 
of general laws from that classification, a sort of 
science had been found for the operations of witchcraft. 
The Church took the command of this as a portion 
of philosophical knowledge especially its own. The 
collection of treatises known to erratic readers as 
the 'Malleus Maleficarum,' or Hammer of Witches, 
received the sanction of the Church, and became the 
standard of doctrine to which all who discoursed on 
the important science of witchcraft appealed. Great 
students, admitted also to be great teachers, pre-eminent 


among whom was tlie illustrious Delrio, discoursed on 
the doctrines of this science as adepts now discourse 
on astronomy and geology. The whole affair is a 
humiliating instance of what human science may 
become, but it is of interest here from the following 
considerations : — 

The facts brought forth in a great body of trials for 
witchcraft in Scotland supply apt illustrations of the 
doctrines of the authorities on witchcraft — illustrations 
just as apt as the clinical student finds in the wards of 
a hospital to the doctrines laid down in the leading 
practical authorities of the day. We have the negotia- 
tions and treaties with the Evil One, ending in the 
transference of the claim on salvation for certain gifts 
at his disposal. There are the great Sabbaths or 
assemlDlies for his worship immortalised in the Wal- 
purgis night. The loathsome doctrine of the incubus 
and succuba is exemplified with horrible minuteness. 
Some phenomena coming down to the scientific 
authorities from the Greek and Latin classics are 
repeated with equal fidelity, as the metamorphosis 
from human creature to beast, the two animals chiefly 
resorted to by the restless being the cat and the 
wolf. Another feature of classic descent is the 
vicarious torture or slaughter by symbolical infliction 
on a waxen image. The necromantic use of the 
remains of the dead is a doctrine of the sages amply 
exemplified in Scottish practice, and so are the aerial 
journeys of the servants of Satan to attend the great 
gatherings ordered by their master in distant regions. 
Even the minor agencies — through toads, snakes, and 
other creatures odious or venomous — are according to 
precedent. The shapes, too, in which the victims are 

SUPERSTITIONS, 1560-1660. 381 

afflicted through these agencies, conform to the estab- 
lished doctrine of the authorities. 

In its own day the coincidence was natural and 
satisfactory, as a fitting together of fact and doctrine. 
In the present day it leaves room for none but a very 
horrible conclusion, too well supported by the facts. 
Towards those who came under the suspicion of dia- 
bolical dealing there was no pity left in the human 
heart. True, the doctrine that suspicion was not 
proof existed nominally for this as for other accusa- 
tions, but nominally only. Where the suspicion 
alighted it carried belief with it, so as to render this 
chapter in the history of human wrongs perhaps the 
very darkest and saddest of them all. It followed 
from all this, that tortm'e was applied in inexhaustible 
abundance to the accused. It was applied in the 
presence of sages learned in the doctrines of witch- 
craft. They knew, indeed, the things that ought to 
be confessed, just as the expert physician knows the 
symptoms that his patient ought to describe to him. 
So under the infliction of torture the wretches ad- 
mitted whatever was charged against them, and their 
wonderful confessions were duly recorded. 

In Scotland the approved doctrines of witchcraft 
had the sanction of the highest authority. King 
James himself was one of the sages of the science, as 
the author of the ' Dsemonologie ' in three books. He 
had wonderful practical experience, too, to guide him. 
There was a strong muster of the Satanic world to 
interrupt his return home from Scandinavia with his 
bride, and the interest and value of the phenomenon 
was increased by a co-operative body of witches on 
the Scandinavian side, the two affording a crucial ex- 


periment on the laws of dcmonology. The forms of 
witclicraft doA'i 'loped in Scotland had the grand 
picturesqueness which recommended them to the pm- 
poses of (Shakespeare ; and of all the supernatural 
escapades admitted by them in their confessions, none 
are more richly endowed with the grotesque, the 
fanciful, and the horrible, than those which were 
confessed in the presence of King James himself, as 
appertaining to designs entertained and attempted by 
the powers of daxkness against his own sacred person.^ 
With these, his own peculiar people, the prince of 
darkness was at home. They had proffered their 
services and become the covenanted slaves of his will. 

' For special information on the phenomena of witchcraft in Soot- 
lanrl, the inquirer may be referred to Chambers's ' Dduiustic Annals 
of Scotland,' Pitcairn's ' Ci'iminal Trials,' Sir John Dalzell's 'Darker 
Superstitions of Scotland,' Kirkpatrick Sharpe's introduction to 
' Law's Memorials,' the Miscellany of the Spalding Club, and a 
' Diurnal of Occurrcnts in Scotland,' in the Miscellany of the Spottis- 
wood Society. 

The tenacity of a belief in witchcraft among educated people in Scot- 
land is signally exemplitied in the methodical ti-eatnient of the crime 
and its symptoms in a law-book of the dryest professional character 
— 'The Institutes of the Law of Scotland,' publisheil in 1730, "by 
William Forbes, advocate, professor of law in the University of Glasgow " : 
" Witchcraft is that black art whereby strange and wonderful things 
are wrought Ijy a power derived from the devil" (p. 32). He excuses 
himself for declining to follow the example of the English commentators, 
who touch the matter as if it was an obsolete belief : " Nothing seems 
plainer to me than that there may be and have been witches, and that 
perhaps such are now actually existing ; wdiich I intend, God willing, 
to clear in a larger work concerning the criminal law " (p. 371). When 
the penal laws against witchcraft were repealed in 1736, the religious 
community, professing to be the rejire.sentative of the Church in the days 
of its purity under the Melvilles, lifted a vehement testimony against 
the repeal as " contrary to the express law of God ; for which a holy 
God may be provoked in a way of righteous judgment to leave those 
who are already ensnared to be haidened more and more, and to per- 
mit Satan to tempt and seduce others to the .same wicked and dangerous 

SUPERSTITIONS, 1560-1660. 383 

But liis power over these once established in firm be- 
lief, there was a tendency to extend it, as an easy and 
rational solution of moral difficulties. It was thus 
followed into remons where its action was more subtle 
and treacherous. It could establish itself within the 
moral nature of those who had not offered themselves 
as victims — who were seeking another master — who 
had even found him and entered the circle of the elect 
people of God. Here, looking at the phenomenon from 
without, there might be seen established within the new 
Church, what was virtually equivalent to one of the 
scandals of the old, a licence to sin admitted by man 
in favour of his neighbour. Demoniacal possession 
served amply the purpose of indulgence. Without 
comparing with each other the merits of the two 
Churches, we have the fact that in both there were 
people endowed with a small morsel of religion and a 
large share of wickedness, who desired to make such 
religion as they could command minister to their vices. 
In this way absolute demoniacal possession was a 
plenary indulgence obtained without payment of a 
price. This is one of the moral phenomena calcu- 
lated to teach us how in all feuds, civil and religious, 
however far the men of the two factions draw oif 
from each other, they are still the men of the period, 
subject to the like passions and affections ; and it has 
been an evil thing for truth that the writers about 
such periods should think it their duty to paint the 
one side as angelic and the other as diabolical. 

It was perhaps from this sense of enslavement to 
the power of evil, that men who had trodden in a 
peculiarly strict path of life, when they lapsed into 
Avickedness, not only confessed their crimes with 


broad distinctness, but drew tliem in their darkest 
colours, sometimes even in the spirit of exaggeration, 
as if the deeper the atrocity of the crime the clearer 
was it that the responsibility was removed from the 
perpetrator to the Power of evil. Thus John Kello, 
a minister of the most rigid class, murdered his Avife 
and made full confession of his crime. He had no 
motive for his crime, he said, "but the continual sug- 
gestions of the wicked spirit to advance myself further 
and further in the world." " These were the glistering 
promises wherewith Satan, after his accustomed manner, 
clouded my senses, and prevailed so in my corrupted 
mind that the space of forty days together I did await 
only upon the opportunity of time to put my Avicked 
desire in execution." As if to exaggerate his crime, 
he said he loved his victim tenderly ; and she was 
eminently worthy of all love — so devoted to him, 
that Avhen, " pressed forAvard by the temptation of 
the enemy," he was doing the deed, she " in the very 
death could not believe I bore her any evil-will, but 
Avas glad, as she then said, to depart, if her death could 
do me either vantage or pleasure."-^ 

This articulate individualising of the poAvers of 
good and evil, and the severing of the two into op- 
posite armies set in material hostility Avith each other, 
had a terrible and brutalising influence on the polem- 
ical and superstitious passions. The tendencies that 
soften their hard logic — charity, sympathy, compassion 
— were all excluded. There could be none of these for 
the great enemy. Admit that Satan himself was the 
being to be fought with or punished, there could be no 
quarter. Any suggestion of compromise, any admis- 

^ Bannatyne's Memorials, 53 et scq. 

SUPERSTITIONS, 1560-1660. 385 

sion that he might be spared or pitied, was arrant 
lilasphemy. Hence the relentless cruelties inflicted by 
a people not cruel by nature upon those who fell 
under the blight of witchcraft. And something of the 
same feeling crept into religious controversy, and gave 
it the tone of intolerance that so ill becomes those 
who are counted among the champions of free thought 
in Scotland. If the inspiration of the Sectaries and 
the Malignants were but the manifestation of the 
power of evil — and there was ever a suspicion that it 
Avas — then, indeed, the toleration of it was a crime of 
the darkest hue. We may perhaps have opportunity 
of seeing the influence of this spirit on the history of 
the dismal period now approaching. 

VOL. VII. - B 

Restoration .Scttlftnent. 









As soon as the news of the 29th of May IGGO could 
reach Scotland, it became known that Cliarh's II. Lad 
arrived in England, and was there received with a 
sort of delirious joy.^ The active part of " the 

' Perhaps the Bpirit of the time is sufficiently expTcsKcd in a con- 
temporary account of the rejoicings in Eilinliurgh on the coronation-day — 
a scene much in contrast with anything that had been known in Scotland 
for a generation: " Sermon (tnded, the Lord Oomruissioner returned to 
the royal palace attended by great numbers of nobility, knights, and 
gentry ; and all feasted at one time, and at several tables, in a most 
splendid and magnificent manner. And that nothing miglit be wanting 
to complete the solemnity, the Lord Commissioner's lady, with her 
daughters, at the same tinje, in another room, entertained many ladies of 
quality witli all the rarities and didicacies iojaginable, and with such 
admirable concerts of music as liardly could been exjjccti^d from u nation 

RESTORATION, 1660. 387 

Restoration belongs to the history of England, or of 
Britain generally ; it is only in its consequences that 
there arise facts sufficient in their distinct importance 
to keep up the thread of separate national history in 

so depressed. Towards the middle of dinner liis majesty's health begun 
liy the Lord Commissioner, a sign given from the terrace, the cannons 
of the castle began to thunder, which was answered from the citadel at 
Leith with the like roaring ; and the great pyramid of coals and tar- 
barrels which was in the out-court of the palace was like^\^.se given fire 
to, which for its greatness was extraordinary ; and if it had been on the 
top of a hill in the night-time, for two miles about it would have shown 
light to have sung Te Beums in the smallest print, and put into a sweat 
any that had been frozen with the greatest fit of a cold, and at the same 
distance too. After dinner the young lords and ladies came out and 
danced all sorts of country dances and reels ; and none busyer than 
the young Lord Clermont, son of the Lord Commissioner, who was so 
ra\'ished with joj' that if he had not been restrained he had thro'mi rings, 
chains, jewels, and all that was precious about him, into the fire. 

" Now let us take a little notice of the great signs of joy manifested 
by our ancient and good to-n-n of Edinburg. After the Lord Provost, 
Sir Robert Murray, with the bailies, common councU, and other magis- 
trates, had turned up their spiritual thanks to heaven for so blessed an 
occasion, then they went altogether to a place appointed for the purpose, 
and in a most magnificent manner regaled themselves with those human 
lawful refreshment which is allowable for the grandeur of so eminent a 
blessing. By that time their feast was finished, the bonfire bells alarmed 
them to mind the carrying on of the work of the night. The Lord 
provost, with the magistrates — each of them with a white baton in their 
handstand the rest of the council, appeared at the cross, which was dis- 
posed in a most hospitable piece of pageant — viz., a splendid representa- 
tion of a vineyard with all the cognisances of Bachus, and under a large 
wine-tree of swelling and bushy clusters did that same god of frolics 
bestride a hogshead of the most gracious claret. He was accompanied 
with his uncle Silenus and some half-a-score of most lovely and wanton 
Bachides ; this same grave and spungy moderator by proclamation gave 
most ample permission to all mankind, for the space of twelve hours by 
the clock, to be as mad with mirth as their imaginations could fancy. 
The indulgence was no sooner pronounced but streams of claret gushed 
from the conduits ; trumpets, flutes, and all sorts of carousing instrument 
which might screw up the passions, did forthwith sound a charge ; the 
breaking of glasses and tumbling of conduits among the commonalty 
made a greater noise than the clashing of Xerxes' armies' armoiir did at 
a narrow pass when they were upon a rout." — Edinburgh's Joy for his 
Majesty's Coronation in England. 


Scotland. It was again religion and the Church that 
was to stir into activity the materials of history. But 
on this occasion the power roused by religious fervour 
in Scotland did not, as in the days of the Covenant, 
shake England also. The events, too, were not to 
open to the zealous a brilliant and triumphant career. 
The predominant features in the new epoch were to 
)je defeats and sufferings, and they were to be borne 
by Scotland alone, with no aid and scant sympathy 
from without. 

A convenient arrangement had been bequeathed 
from the days before the Commonwealth for the 
immediate administration of business. It was put 
into the hands of the Committee of Estates, as it was 
constituted at the time when Charles II. was crowned 
at Scone. It was a body that had been originally 
created in defiance of and to thwart the Crown, but 
in the present juncture of loyalty it could be trusted 
until the king sent a commissioner to preside over a 
meeting of the Estates. 

The convention Parliament of England had been 
assembled, and was sitting for the transaction of busi- 
ness when the king arrived. One of the earliest Acts 
of this Parliament affected Scotland, and it therefore 
happens that the civil history of Scotland at the junc- 
ture of the Restoration begins in Westminster. The 
" Act for the encouraging and increasing of shipping 
and navigation," commonly called " the Navigation 
Act," has just as much direct reference to Russia as 
it has to Scotland, and yet it was to the Scottish peo- 
ple a sudden calamity followed by a long train of 
disastrous consequences. The leading rule of that 
Act — a rule long held in reverence as the legislative 

NAVIGATION ACT, 1660. 389 

guardian of English trade — is in these words : " No 
goods or commodities whatsoever shall be imported 
into or exported out of any lands, islands, plantations, 
or territories to his majesty belonging, &c., in Asia, 
Africa, or America, in any other ship or ships, vessel 
or vessels, whatsoever, but in such ships or vessels as 
do truly and without fraud belong only to the people 
of England or Ireland, dominion of Wales, or town of 
Berwick-upon-Tweed," or of some English settlement. 
Further, there was provision that merchandise should 
not be imported from abroad into England except in 
English vessels, or the vessels of the place where the 
goods were produced. In brief, there could be no 
trade with the English colonies but in English vessels, 
and no goods could be imported into England from 
any place abroad by ships that did not belong either 
to England or the place whence the goods were 
brought. Thus no vessel belonging to Scotland, 
HoUand, or France, could trade in the produce of 
the English colonies, or between Spain or any other 
country and England. To such goods as came 
through the narrowed channel of trade from foreign 
countries, alien duties were attached for the encourage- 
ment of English trade. That the bearing of this Act 
on Scotland was kept in full view when it was pre- 
pared, is shown by a curious clause of exemption, by 
which alien duties are not to apply to " any corn of 
the growth of Scotland, or to any salt made in Scot- 
land, nor to any fish caught, saved, and cured by the 
people of Scotland, and imported directly from Scot- 
land in Scotch-built ships, and whereof the master and 
three-fourths of the mariners are of his majesty's sub- 
jects; nor to any seal-oil of Eussia imported from 


thence into England, Ireland, Wales, or town of Ber- 
wick-upon-Tweed, in shipping bo7ia fide to any of the 
said places belonging, and whereof the master and 
three-fourths of the mariners at least are English." ^ 

By this Act the free commerce between Scotland 
and England, which had lasted for six years, was at 
once suppressed, and the infant progress of Scotland 
in wealth and enterprise was blighted. The Naviga- 
tion Act was the foundation of that great, complicated, 
and laborious system of restrictive and prohibitory 
commercial legislation which has now been swept 
from the statute-book. The navigation laws were an 
invention of the Eepublic for the purpose of ruining 
the Dutch, who threatened to engross the shipping 
and commerce of the whole world. The Restoration 
Government saw that it was good, and immediately 
preserved it in a legitimate Act of Parliament. Those 
statesmen of times not long past who had least sym- 
j)athy with the Commonwealth, admitted that its states- 
men did one wise thing when they laid the foundation 
of the restrictive and prohibitory commercial system. 
The economic policy of the present age utterly con- 
demns the system ; but that condemnation does not 
reverse the view, that as part of a system in which the 
island of Britain was one country, it was eminently 
advantageous to the Scots. To them the trade of 
England was worth the trade of the rest of the world 
many times over. This just rendered it all the more 
necessary that they should no longer retain it. The 
navigation laws were one of those great acts of 
homage to the trade jealousy which was growing 
in strength and casting its unamiable shadow over 

1 Act 12, ch. ii. ch. 18. 

NAVIGATION ACT, l66o. 391 

England. The Scots, like the English an energetic, 
industrious, commercial nation, were more dangerous 
than the French or the Spanish, because they were 
close at hand. When the Scots afterwards attempted 
to rival the English monopoly, and to trade and colonise 
on their own account, the English merchants pursued 
and ruined them. The efforts of Scotland and the 
jealousy of England both culminated in the renowned 
Darien expedition. The result of that was, that either 
there must be toleration and interchange of trading 
privileges, or Scotland would have a separate sover- 
eignty for itself, and fight, as of old, its own cause ; 
and the consequence of this emergency was the Union 
of 1707. Such was the legacy of events left by a 
piece of statesmanship belonging to that useful but 
uneventful class which history shuns. It is not 
wonderful, indeed, that in the many incidents, 
tragic or otherwise, of the period, such a matter as the 
Navigation Act should be passed by. It is necessary 
that we now turn to the scene of these events so 
diff'erent in character, and they again drive us into 
the thick of ecclesiastical squabbles. 

A small body of clergymen and elders desired 
their brethren of the Church to unite with them in a 
dutiful address or " supplication" to his majesty. The 
clergy at large, not liking the names of those who so 
appealed to them, held aloof ; and the promoters met 
to prepare their appeal in the house of Eobert Simp- 
son, a citizen of Edinburgh, on the 23d of August 
1660. The supplication resolved itself into some- 
thing more like a demand than those of twenty years 
earlier. They addressed the king as one of themselves 
— a Covenanted monarch. They reminded him of the 


fact thus : " We hope that your majesty will uot take 
oiience if we be the Lord's remembrancers to you that 
you were pleased, a little before your coming into this 
kingdom, and afterwards at the time of your corona- 
tion, to assure and declare by your solemn oath under 
your hand and seal in the presence of Almighty God, 
the searcher of hearts, your allowance and ajjproba- 
tion of the National Covenant, and of the Solemn 
League and Covenant, faithfully obliging yourself to 
prosecute the ends thereof in your station and call- 

That he may be fully informed as to the nature of 
the obligations so undertaken, they utter their expec- 
tations thus : " That you would employ your royal 
power unto the preservation of the Eeformed religion 
in the Church of Scotland in doctrine, worship, dis- 
cipline, and government; and in the reformation of 
religion in the kingdoms of England and Ireland in 
doctrine, worship, discipline, and government ; and in 
the carrying on the work of uniformity in religion in 
the Churches of God in the three kingdoms, in one 
confession of faith, form of Church government, direc- 
tory for worship, and catechising ; and to the extirpa- 
tion of Popery, Prelacy, superstition, heresy, schism, 
profaneness, and whatsoever shall be found contrary 
to sound doctrine and the power of godliness ; and 
that all places of power and trust under your majesty 
may be filled with such as have taken the Covenant, 
and are of approven integrity and known affection in 
the cause of God." 

They know that there are designs to overthrow the 
" blessed work," and "to reintroduce Prelacy and the 
ceremonies and the Service-book, and all those cor- 


ruptious which Avere formerly cast out." But should 
these projects be successful, they " cannot, without 
horror of heart and astonishment of spirit, think of 
what dreadful guiltiness kings, princes, ministers, and 
people shall be involved into, and what fearful wrath 
shall attend them from the face of an angry and 
jealous God." 

They admit that they would be no less apprehen- 
sive were there a chance of the restoration " of the 
spirit of eiTor that possesseth sectaries in these na- 
tions, which as it did at first j)romote the practice of 
a vast toleration in things religious, and afterwards 
proceeded to the framing of the mischief thereof into 
a law ; " and they know that there are some who are 
prepared to renew this licence "under the specious 
pretence of liberty for tender consciences." They 
conclude their supplication, of which these extracts 
are but a small part, with something like an invoca- 
tion : " It is the desire of our souls that your majesty 
may be like unto David, according to God's own 
heart ; like unto Solomon, of an understanding heart 
to judge the Lord's people, and to discern betwixt 
good and bad ; like unto Jehoshaphat, whose heart 
was lifted up in the ways of the Lord ; like unto 
Hezekiah, eminent for goodness and integrity; like 
unto Josias, who was of a tender heart, and did hum- 
ble himself before God," &c.^ If these parallels ever 
found their way into the ante-chambers at Whitehall, 
it is easy to imagine them creating much merriment. 

This supplication was never presented. The Com- 
mittee of Estates, calling the meeting " a conventicle 

' " The Ministers' [designed] Supplication " will be found in full in 
Wodrow, i. 68 ei seq. 


and private meeting of some remonstrating and pro- 
testing ministei's," sent a warrant committing them 
to the Castle of Edinburgh. 

As it is proper to keep in view the peculiar tenor 
of this document, it is also proper to note who its 
adherents were. They were the remnant of the Re- 
monstrants of the west. The past ten years had 
been unpropitious to their growth in numbers and 
strength. The Protectorate kept their enemies from 
persecuting them, and in some measure favoured them 
for the one virtue of their disliking the house of 
Stewart. Their sole grievance was, that they were 
not permitted to assail the large portion of the 
human race who were heretics from their own centre 
of truth. If their existence mio;ht be likened to 
physical or mental disturbance in the body politic of 
Scotland, the effect of the political treatment admin- 
istered by the Protectorate might be likened to that 
of soporifics and rest on the excited patient. The 
more they raved, indeed, the less sympathy did the 
great bulk of the community give them ; and there 
can be no greater mistake than to suppose, as some 
people have from what afterwards befell, that these 
men represented the prevailing feeling of the Scots at 
the juncture of the Eestoration. Whatever remnant 
of the old frenzy remained with these zealots of the 
west, the country at large, Presbyterian and Episco- 
palian, had little sympathy in it. The country was 
never in a more tolerant or moderate temper. Of 
those who, like Baillie, were not Remonstrants, yet 
had seen the Covenant work its way over the land as 
if led by the finger of God, and who expected to see 
the restoration of Zion, the number was small, and they 


were old, with little practical influence. Their doctrine, 
that all the three kingdoms must become Covenanted, 
would have been dealt with as a mere obsolete form of 
speech in which the men of former things were entitled 
to indulge, had the good spirit that was alive in the 
people been cultivated and caressed. Without ventur- 
ing to decide whether or not the nation might have 
assented to a moderate Episcopacy, it was heartily 
tired of things past, and ready for moderation in some 
form or other. One powerful element of the old re- 
sistance was gone. With the zealous Covenanters the 
landowners had now no common cause. A quarter of 
a century had passed since the climax of their terror, 
that the Church property gathered by them during 
the previous seventy-five years would be torn from 
them. A new generation now held these lands ; and 
the rapid succession of convulsions since the settle- 
ment of 1633, when tithes were commuted, had 
driven out of recollection a matter so little before the 
world — so completely each man's private affair — as the 
fear that the settlement was only a first step towards 
the restoration of all the old ecclesiastical property to 
the Church. It needed the conjunction of two spirits 
so peculiar as those of Charles I. and Laud to rouse 
such an apprehension ; and such a conjunction was 
one of the rare things which men do not expect 
every day, and only feel when they are really seen to 
be approaching. On the other hand, they had more 
recent recollections of the hard discipline exercised 
over their life and conversation by the Presbyterian 
clergy, and were in no humour to submit to their yoke. 
The clergy themselves were weary of the bondage 
of " the sectaries," and in the bulk tlioroughly loyal. 


zealous Covenanting historian, speaking out of the 
pirit driven into his community by the events that 
were to come, said of his countrymen of the Restora- 
tion period: " Meantime the king's character stood so 
high in tlie opinion and the idolatrous affections of 
the miserable people of Scotland, that a man might 
more safely have blasphemed Jesus Christ than derogate 
in the least from the glory of his perfections ; people 
would never believe he was to introduce bishops till 
they were settled in their seat." ^ 

Whatever earnestness there was in Charles II. 's 
nature seems to have turned against the Covenant 
and that religion which, as Burnet makes him say, 
was "not a religion for a gentleman." He knew 
what it was, not from theological study, but bitter 
experience. In the days of his misfortune he had 
been subject to brief periods of danger and privation; 
but in general he led an easy, rakish, and luxurious 
life, Avith much in it to satisfy the desires of his 
nature. Through its pleasant vistas his dreary abode 
at Scone seems to have come like some nightmare 
vision of horrors. Yet the few who were alike zealous 
in loyalty and in Covenanting faith seem to have 
thought that with this odious burden on his memory, 
even when triumphant in the homage of the reactionary 
zeal of England, he was to come forward and accept 
all the humiliating tests endured by him at Scone. 
It is strange to find how well one who had expected 
to find in him a Covenanting king, and was disap- 
pointed, could describe the motives likely to turn a 
king like Charles towards Episcopacy rather than the 
Covenant : " He knew well bishops would never be 

> Kirkton, 132, 

sharp's negotiations, 1660-61. 397 

reprovers of the Court, and the first article of their 
catechism was Non-resistance. They were men of that 
discretion as to dissemble great men's faults, and not 
so severe as the Presbyterians. They were the best 
tools for tyranny in the world ; for do a king what he 
would, their daily instruction was kings could do no 
wrong, and that none might put forth a hand against 
the Lord's anointed and be innocent. The king knew 
also he should be sure of their vote in Parliament 
desire what he would, and that they would plant a 
sort of ministers which might instil principles of 
loyalty into the people till they turned them first 
slaves and then beggars." ^ 

When the Court reached London, it found there two 
ambassadors sent to plead the cause of a Presbyterian 
Establishment for Scotland. The natural conclusion 
to be anticipated from the conflicting powers was a 
compromise. If there were on the one hand the king 
and his favourites eager for a courtly hierarchy, there 
was on the other extreme the wild remnant in the 
west. The moderate men, if driven to extremities, 
must make common cause with them; and that inferred 
an effort, with the aid of the English remnant, to 
re-establish the Covenant over the three kingdoms. 
From such an alliance and crusade the moderate party 
recoiled with tremors. To avoid it they would have 
given up much. Then it would not, after all, be a 
courtly Prelacy that Scotland would possess, unless 
the attempts on the old Church lands were renewed, 
and that was not in the calculation of chances. The 
Scots prelates, whose incomes Avere shaped in the 
curious disputes which we have seen in King James's 

1 Kirkton, 131, 132. 


reign, would be poor men beside the Lords Bishops of 
England. It was noticed that the revenues of the see 
of Winchester were worth more than those of all the 
Scots sees collectively.^ The result of these conflict- 
ing forces, had they been left to free action, can only 
be matter of calculation, for the end was otherwise 
decided. The Scots Presbyterians were represented 
by a traitor who abandoned all. James Sharp was 
sent to London as an ambassador in the cause of a 
Presbyterian polity, and he returned as the selected 
Archbishop of St Andrews. This is one of the simple, 
and to a certain extent satisfactory, occasions in which 
it is hopeless to plead honest conviction. 

Sharp went to London as the ambassador of the 
Broad or Kesolution party in the Church ; he was to 
treat with ]\lonk and with whatever party he might 
find in power. He had, as we have seen, represented 
this party at the Court of the Protectorate, where 
it was thought that the Pv,emonstrants were unduly 
favoured, and had gained a character among the public 
men of the age as one endowed with tact and good 
practical sense. His instructions bear date 6th Feb- 
ruary 1660. They refer in some measure to practical 
details, such as "a commission for settling and aug- 
menting of ministers' stipends." His primary instruc- 
tion was : "You are to use your utmost endeavours that 
the Kirk of Scotland may, without interruption or 
encroachment, enjoy the freedom and privileges of her 
established judicatories ratified by the laws of the land." 
Of the subsidiary instructions, one, when read by the 
events preceding and those following on it, is suggestive 
of reflection : " Whereas, by the lax toleration which 

1 Wodrow, i. 2.35. 

sharp's negotiations, 1660-61. 399 

is established, a door is opened to a very many gross 
errors and loose practices in this Church ; you shall 
therefore use all lawful and provident means to re- 
present the sinfulness and ofFensiveness thereof, that 
it may be timeously remedied."^ This one direction 
Sharp may be said to have followed to the letter, but 
scarcely in the spirit intended by his instructors. 

Robert Douglas was appointed his colleague, to join 
him in London if necessary ; but Sharp found that 
the essential parts of the business had better be con- 
ducted by himself alone. By ]\Ionk's suggestion he 
went to the Court at Breda, and had interviews with 
the new king before he crossed the Channel. His 
correspondence at the time, especially that with 
Douglas, has been preserved. It is a bulky collection, 
and it would be difficult to find letters with fewer 
ostensible attractions ; but when we read them by the 
light of after-events, it is interesting to trace through 
them some faint vestiges of the workings on the 
emissary's mind. The first distinct utterance is a 
caution not to demand too much — not to attempt to 
force the Covenant on England and Ireland : " Pres- 
byterians here are few, and all are Englishmen, and 
these will not endure us to do anything that may 
carry a resemblance in pressing uniformity. I shall 
not be accessary to anything prejudicial to the Pres- 
byterian government ; but to appear for it in any 
other way than is within my sphere is inconvenient, 
and may do harm and not good." Again : "For me 
to press uniformity for discipline and government 
upon the king and others, I find, would be a most dis- 
gustful employment and successless ; for although the 

^ Wodrow, i. 5. 


king could be indvicecl to be for it, it were not in his 
power to effectuate it, the two Houses of Parliament 
and body of this nation being against it ; and if I speak 
what I know and can demonstrate to you, 'tis already 
past remedying." 

All this carries an air of sense and modesty. Tak- 
ing by deduction from the event an evil view of it, it 
might seem a modification of his claim in order that 
the remainder might be bought up. The man taking 
his stand on the Covenant as absolute righteousness, 
which all the three kingdoms must profess, presents a 
more formidable obstacle to the seducer than he who 
merely claims for himself and his friends an exemption 
from the general rule. But on the other hand it might 
be said, that if he then had the design of making the 
Covenant odious in England, arrogant and excessive 
demands were the way to accomplish his end. 

On his return to London we find him from time to 
time disturbed in spirit by symptoms of the prevalence 
of Episcopacy : " A knowing minister told me this 
day that if a synod should be called by the plurality 
of incumbents, they would infallibly carry Episcopacy. 
There are many nominal, few real, Presbyterians. The 
cassock-men do swarm here, and such as seemed before 
for Presbytery would be content of a moderate Epis- 
copacy. We must leave this in the Lord's hand, who 
may be pleased to preserve to us what He hath 
wrought for us." Again : " I pray the Lord keep 
them from the Service-book and Prelacy. If the 
king should be determined in matters of religion by 
the advice of the two Houses, 'tis feared that Covenant 
engagements shall not be much regarded. All sober 
men depend more upon the king's moderation and 

sharp's negotiations, 1660-61. 401 

condescension than what can be expected from others. 
The Episcopalians drive so furiously that all lovers 
of religion are awakened to look about them, and to 
endeavour the stemming of that feared impetuousness 
of these men. All that is hoped is to bring them to 
some moderation and closure with an Episcopacy of a 
new make." " I see generally the cassock-men appear- 
ing everywhere boldly, the Liturgy in many places 
setting up. The service in the chapel at Whitehall is 
to be set up with organs and choristers, as formerly." 
Was all this to prepare people for a coming phenome- 
non — a torrent of Prelacy so powerful that, unable 
to resist it, he is soon carried away by it ? 

As he writes, the torrent gains strength : " The 
course of Prelacy is carrying on without opposition, 
so that they who were for the moderation thereof 
apprehend they have lost their game. No man knows 
what the overdriving will come to. The Parliament 
complain of his majesty's moderation, and that he 
does not press the settling all stent ante. God only 
knows what temptations and trials are abiding us. 
I have made such use of your papers as is possible. 
You stand exonered as to any compliance with the 
times, or betraying the common cause by your silence, 
in the judgment of all to whom I have communicate 
what you have ordered me to do. Our task is to wait 
upon God, who hath done great things we looked not 
for, and can make these mountains plains." 

One thing evidently disturbed him personally during 
this ruin to the cause. Douglas spoke of coming to 
help him. That must be prevented. He wrote that 
he was "tossed in his thoughts about it." In one 
light it might do good ; but, on the other hand, 

VOL. VII. 2 c 


when he reflects what a jealous eye the Prelatical 
party, who bear him no goodwill, wUl have on him 
and his carriage, he is recommended to forbear. " I 
know," he says, " you are not caj)able of being tickled 
by the desire of seeing the grandeur of a court, and 
you would soon tire were you here ; and the toil and 
charge of coming hither and returning in so short a 
time — it being necessary you be at home against the 
sitting of the Parliament — will be, in my apprehension, 
much more than any good can be done at this time." 
No — on the whole, he had better not come at present ; 
but he is told that "when matters come to a gTeater 
ripeness two or three months hence, your coming may 
be of more use and satisfaction to yourself and advan- 
tage to the public." Sharp was threatened with a still 
more formidable visitation. A committee of his most 
zealous and able brethren proposed to join him. He 
met this boldly. The king did not desire to see them 
then in the pressure of his English affairs, and their 
coming would prejudice the cause — when his majesty 
desired their attendance he would send for them. 

The next quotation touches on perilous groimd : 
" Our noblemen and others here keep yet in a fair 
way of seeming accord ; but I find a high, loose spirit 
appearing in some of them, and I hear they talk of 
bringing in Episcopacy into Scotland, Avhich I trust 
they shall never be able to effect. I am much sad- 
dened and wearied out with what I hear and see. 
Some leading Presbyterians tell me they must resolve 
to close in with what they call moderate Episcopacy, 
else open profanity will upon the one hand overwhelm 
them ; or Erastianism — which may be the design of 
some statesmen — on the other." 

sharp's negotiations, 1660-61. 403 

This is early in June 1660. On the 16th he comes 
again on the impolicy of pressing the Covenant on 
England, into little windings of thought 
and argument, such as a mind conscious of treachery 
might follow : " Under correction I apprehend our 
doing of that which may savour of meddling or inter- 
posing in those matters here will exceedingly prejudice 
us, both as to our civil liberty and settlement of reli- 
gion. It is obvious how much the manner of settling 
religion here may influence the disturbing and endan- 
gering of our Establishment ; yet, Providence having 
included us under a moral impossibility of preventing 
this evil — if upon a remote fear of hazard to our reli- 
gious interests we shall do that which will provoke 
and exasperate those who wait for an opportunity 
of a pretext to overturn what the Lord hath built 
amongst us, who knows what sad effects it may 
have ? The present posture of affairs looks like a ship 
foundered with the waves from all corners, so that 
it is not known what course will be steered. But 
discerning men see that the gale is like to blow for 
the Prelatic party ; and those who are sober will 
yield to a liturgy and moderate Episcopacy — which 
they phrase to be effectual Presbytery — and by this 
salvo they think they guard against breach of Cove- 
nant. I know this purpose is not pleasing to you, 
neither to me." He maintains, somewhat circuitously 
and dubiously, that while abstaining from interference 
with English affairs, he has been very careful to avoid 
committing himself or his brethren to their tenor, or 
to anything that might imply a doubt on their " firm 
adherence to the Covenant." He announces that the 
king has fixed a day for considering the affairs of 


Scotland, and moralises on the occasion : "The Lord 
fit us for future trials, and establish us in His way." 
On the 19th he imparts, though with a touch of hesi- 
tation, hopes which he knew to be false : " I hope 
this week to have his majesty's letter signifying his 
resolution to preserve the established doctrine, wor- 
ship, discipline, and government of our Kirk, and that 
we shall have a General Assembly — and then I shall 
come home with your leave." 

A memorable passage in a State paper, of which 
Sharp was the bearer, afterwards gave significance to 
tlie words used by him on this occasion. In express- 
ing his hopes about the tenor of the king's letter, he 
did not say it was to ratify the Presbyterian Kirk 
government by General Assemblies, synods, and presby- 
teries, though he took care to make it be believed that 
such was his own personal hope. His carefully-chosen 
words of anticipation were to " preserve the established 
worship, discipline, and government." This letter was 
dated on the 19th of June. The State paper by which 
it came afterwards to be interpreted was dated on the 
10th of August. He continues in the same letter: " If 
we knew how little our interests are regarded by the 
most part here, we would not much concern ourselves 
in theirs. If we cannot prevent the course taken here, 
we are to trust God with the preservation of what He 
hath wrought to us." "Although we want not our 
fears, let us procure what is wanting by prayer, and 
not dwell too much on fear lest we sour our spirits." 
He would rather that his brethren worked by prayer 
than by another of their functions. That things dis- 
agreeable were said in sermons may be inferred from 
this hint : " If the accounts here of expressions min- 

sharp's negotiations, 1660-61. 405 

isters use in their pulpits be true, I wish ministers 
would moderate their passions at such a time." 

While all these things were written, Sharp was 
virtually Primate of Scotland and Archbishop of St 
Andrews. It was believed, indeed, that the bargain 
Avas struck at once when he arrived at Breda. Enough, 
perhaps, has been drawn out of his perfidious corre- 
spondence ; but it may complete this self-drawn pic- 
ture of duplicity to add that one passage from his 
letters that would have been the most likely to excite 
suspicion : "I engage in no party while I am here, 
that I may see how the wheels move. There is a 
necessity I get and keep acquaintance with the Epis- 
copal party as well as Presbyterians, and with those 
about Court who manage the king's affairs, though 
they be no friends to Presbyterians, though I be 
hereby exposed to the construction of men. I am 
confident the king hath no purpose to wrong our 
Church in her settlement ; my greatest fear is their 
introducing Erastianism." 

Douglas, his colleague, though believed to be a 
great clerical statesman, suspected nothing. On the 
occasion when Sharp afterwards went up to London 
for ordination — "that the Presbyterian stamp might 
be abolished and a new Prelatical stamp taken on " — 
Douglas tells us, with a natural bitterness : " Sharp 
came to me before he went to London, and I told him 
the curse of God would be on him for his treacherous 
dealing ; and that I may speak my heart of this man, 
I profess I did no more suspect him in reference to 
Prelacy than I did myself"^ 

' Wodrow, i. 228. Douglas is the minister formerly mentioned as 
the reputed grandson of Queen Mary. Wodrow preserved for his own 


Shai-p returned to Scotland with a royal letter to 
his constituents, commending " his good services," and 
his faithful account of the state of the Church and the 
loyalty and good carriage of his ministers. It inti- 
mated the royal resolution "to discountenance pro- 

]jrivate use the follo^ving memorandmn about him : He " was, as I 
hear, a minister in Gustavus Adolphus' army, and then lie got the most 
part of all the Bible in his memory, having almost no other Ijook to read; 
so that he was a man mighty in the Scriptures. He was a man of great 
authority and boldness. There was a godly learned minister — viz., Mr 
Tullidafif — said to me he could never look to Mr Robert Douglas but he 
really stood in awe of him ; and he said so of worthy Mr Robert Blair, 
that he thought there was a great majesty and authority appearing in 
both these men's faces, that he could not take a look of them but he 
really stood in awe of them. It's reported that Gustavus said of Mr 
Douglas, when he was going to leave him, ' There [is] a man who, for 
wisdom and prudence, might be a counsellor to any king in Europe ; 
he might be a moderator to any Assembly in the world; and he might 
be a general to conduct my army, for his skill in military affairs.' 
When some were speaking to him about the ceremonies of England, Mr 
Douglas said that 'the bishop was the greatest ceremony of them all.' 
If he would have complied, there would no man been Archbishop of St 
Andrews before Mr Douglas. They repoit that he said to Jlr Sharp, 
' If my conscience had been as yours, I could have been Archbishop of 
St Andrews before you.' It's .said, when a great person was pressing 
him to be Primate of Scotland, to put him off effectually he answered, 
' I will never be Archbishop of St Andrews unless I be Chancellor of 
Scotland also, as some were before me,' which made the great man 
speak no more to him about that affair. There was a minister said to 
me that Mr Douglas was a great State preacher — one of the greatest we 
had in Scotland — for he feared no man to declare the mind of God to 
him ; yet he was very acce.ssible, and easy to be conversed with. Unless 
a man were for God, he had no value for him, let him be never so great 
or noble." — Analecta, iii. 82, 83. 

Burnet says : " There appeared an air of greatness in him, that made 
all that saw him inclined enough to believe he was of no ordinary de- 
scent. He was a reserved man. He had the Scriptures by heart to the 
exactness of a Jew, for he was as a concordance. He was too calm and 
too grave for the furious men, but yet he was much depended on for his 
prudence. I knew him in his old age, and saw plainly he was a slave 
to his popularity, and durst not own the free thoughts he had of some 
things for fear of offending the people." — Summary of Affairs before the 

sharp's negotiations, 1660-61. 407 

fanity and all contemners and opposers of the ordi- 
nances of the Gospel." Then follows a memorable 
passage, drawn with a subtle purpose : " We do also 
resolve to protect and preserve the government of the 
Church of Scotland as it is settled by law without 
violation ; and to countenance in the due exercise of 
their functions all such ministers w^ho shall behave 
themselves dutifully and peaceably, as becomes men 
of their calling." ^ The coincidence of this with 
Sharp's anticipation has not its full significance until 
an inner meaning afterwards comes forth. 

Of his brief sojourn in his native land, under the 
scrutiny of keen eyes gradually becoming suspicious, 
he has left ample traces in his own letters. For a key 
to these we must forecast the man's nature as it after- 
wards came out in his political life. It was that of a 
dexterous experienced man of affairs ; but also of a man 
of desperate resolutions, endowed with a wary, subtle 
intellect for their execution, and all supported by a 
daring and determined temperament. In the thick 
of the dangerous political contest which he courted he 
had often to fight alone, with no counsel or support 
save from his own politic brain. Such was the man 
who set himself to write long letters to his brethren 
of the clergy — letters that read like the weariful 
wailings of a disappointed man who pours into any 
ear that will receive it the story of his wrongs and 
woes, and bitterness of spirit, and determination to 
abandon the world with its vanities and deceptions, 
and find solace in obscurity aud solitude. Then he is 
bereft of all sympathy in his distress; yea — keener 
suffering still — he is absolutely suspected. He sees, 

1 Wodrow, i. 80. 


with all others, that the calamity he has done his best 
to defeat is coming; but instead of an object of sus- 
picion, he should be an object of special compassion ; 
for is not he the greatest sufferer of all, since by giving 
his services to the common cause he had made it 
especially his own 1 The whole of his lamentation, 
too, is amply seasoned with ejaculations of piety, a 
weakness from which Burnet tells us that Sharp, in 
his communications with the companions of his 
Prelatic life, was peculiarly exempt. 

A man of mere ordinary selfish temperament, yield- 
ing to the pressure of fortune, and preparing himself 
to accept the Avinning side in such a contest, does 
not take this tone. His resource is generally a surly 
silence ; and if he is active, it is in preparing the way 
for desertion by gradually letting it come forth that he 
has got new lights, and found reason to doubt whether 
the cause hitherto maintained by him is the right 
one. But it is clear that Sharp had not to take the 
mere passive attitude of yielding to events. He had 
to give material help in shaping them. The project 
on hand was perilous. Its success depended on dex- 
terous and dangerous tactics which might any moment 
be overturned ; for Charles 11. was not a man like his 
father, on whom a servant such as Laud could place 
absolute reliance. In short, it was the case of a leader 
betraying his camp into the hands of the enemy, who, 
to conceal his purpose from his brethren, required all 
his power of dexterity and cunning. It is observable 
that in these communings he reserves what might be 
considered a point of refuge, whence he could possibly 
maintain a lAea for consistency ; but it was one so far 
out of the question on hand that it might escape 

sharp's negotiations, 1660-61. 409 

observation. He ever speaks of himself as in the 
hands of the king, and bound without reserve im- 
plicitly to obey the command so laid upon him. In 
giving effect to this spirit he holds by Lauderdale as 
his immediate leader and " very good lord," in whose 
fortunes his were embarked. This conjunction will 
find a special significance when Lauderdale reveals 
to us his own policy. JMeanwhile, he who was be- 
lieved to rule the king's mind in Scots affairs, was 
a Covenanter who had undergone sufferings for the 

On the 12th of January 1661, among the earliest of 
these vindicatory and supplicatory epistles, he says : 
"If I stand right in my noble and dearest lord's opin- 
ion, in which I trust my integrity shall preserve me, 
I shall make small reckoning- of the blasting from the 
tongues which folly and perverseness have and do 
still design against me. You know I have been alone 
upon the stage, and therefore cannot escape the con- 
versings of persons as they are variously affected and 
interested. My surest fence is in God, who knoweth 
that my regard to the interest of my country and this 
Kirk doth prejudice my selfish considerations." 

On the 26th he introduces his grief with a touch of 
decorous modesty : " I do not inquire of business — 
when I am asked I tell my judgment. Once a-day I 
go to the abbey, officiate at my Lord Commissioner 
his table, which I have done upon his invitation, as I 
wrote to you formerly ; he uses me civilly. By any- 
thing I can yet perceive amongst them, I can find no 
design to alter our Church government ; and though 
they had it, I do not see how it can be effectuate. 
Some discontented, and others who have nothing else 


to do but to frame conjectures and sjDread tliem, talk 
and write what they fancy. No man nor action 
escapes their teasing tongues. I want not my own 
share of that happiness. AVhether my preferment to 
he the only minister who attends the Court doth make 
me the subject of people's talk, the object of envy 
from others, I know not ; but I am sure my employ- 
ment nor fate are not very pleasant to me." 

On the 31st he becomes more energetic about the 
malice, folly, and calumny of which he is the victim : 
" I see no fence for me but patience under the hand of 
God, who sees it fit to put me to such an afflicting exer- 
cise ; and contempt against what the ill-minded and 
factious can do against me, which the Lord, I bless 
Him, is pleased in some measure to vouchsafe upon 
me. And I think I could not have that patience and 
untroubledness if my conscience did accuse me of 
what malicious folly would fix upon me. I have been 
formerly represented as if I had engaged while I was 
in London to introduce Episcopacy into this Church, 
and now I am reputed to be an apostate Covenanter. 
Sure the next Avill be that I am turned fanatic and 
enemy to the king." 

The next two passages are extracted from a long 
letter dated on the 19th of March : " I had no designs 
but the service of others more than myself I thank 
God disturbing hopes and fears do not discompose me, 
nor is my judgment perverted by aff"ection or interest. 
I do chain my affection and desire to that stream of 
Providence which may make it be well with the king 
and your master, my lord. I am no fanatic, nor a 
lover of their Avay under whatsoever refined form ; yet 
of late I have received a different light as to the king's 

sharp's negotiations, l66o-6r. 411 

judgment as to our Church than I found when I 
parted from Whitehall. This may be a riddle to you, 
but to open more in this way I cannot. I tell you it 
is, and hath struck me with amazement — our evil is 
from those with you. I cannot exempt some among 
ourselves, of whom I am not one. The only wise God 
knoweth what ; but for anything yet appearing to 
me, I cannot see how this current shall be stemmed, 
and this Church kept upon the bottom it stands. 
Although you like not my desire to retire now, yet 
pardon me to differ from you in my resolution not to 
meddle any more in these stormy and bespattering 
entanglements. If men will not regard my credit 
and peace, I must look to myself. The severity of the 
sentence of a crashed credit and prostituted conscience 
I do not fear from men of credit and conscience. I 
have not stepped awry ; my uprightness will answer 
for me when this dust of jealousies, disappointments, 
fiddlings, and clamourings is over. 

" God help us when we see that the concernments of 
the Gospel of the Church and ministry must be hurled 
at the heels of the interests of men designing nothing 
but greatness, and taking advantage from the divi- 
sions, unstableness, insignificance of ministers. For 
my part, if, after long contest with men of Avhich it 
is time to be wearied, I cannot have leave to retire 
among my books, and bewail the evils which the folly 
and self-seeking of men are bringing upon my country, 
I must think de mutando solo, and breathing of an 
air where I may be without the reach of the noise and 
pressure of the confusions coming, which I had rather 
hear of than be witness to, and for the preventing of 
which I have not been wanting in the using of those 


means which to the best of my understanding seemed 

The next is a short but expressive passage from a 
letter of the 15th of April, when he is drawing nearer 
to his reward, and also his relief from his laborious 
game, for that it was laborious the enormous length 
of his letters shows us : "I do appeal to the con- 
tinued tenor of my actions, which witness for me 
in the judgment of all impartial and unbiassed ob- 
servers ; and I can with patience and hope commit 
myself, my credit, conscience, and what else is ex- 
pressed that doth concern, into the hands of my 
faithful Creator, who knows my way, and will bring 
my integrity to light." ^ 

This feat of turpitude has a finish and completeness 
often to be found in hostile accusations, but rarely 
exemplified in real life. It is a tale not to have been 
accepted on any authority but for the support afl^'orded 
by the man himself. If it be asked why he should 
have strewed around him these vestiges of bad repute, 
the answer is, that he did so to secure something in 
his esteem far more valuable than an honest name. 

Among men inclined to moderate views there has 
been a disinclination to believe in Sharp's perfidy, 
because it makes one of the picturesque sketches in 
Burnet's History. But in this instance Burnet's brief 

1 These passages are from the Lauderdale manuscripts in the British 
Museum, the contents of which were made easily accessible to the author 
through a transcript kindly put at his disposal by Mr Douglas, the editor 
of the ' North British Review.' The letters, on their own individual 
merits, either as morsels of literature or as a general reflection of the 
times, would be pronounced valueless, and even repulsive, but for the 
interpretation they afford of things beyond their own tenor. To have 
been collected and carefully preserved by such a man as Lauderdale, 
they must have been considered of consequence as State papers. 

sharp's negotiations, 1660-61. 413 

estimate appears to me to give with as mucli accuracy 
as animation the spirit slumbering in the bulky- 
correspondence here referred to. Burnet's words are : 
"As he had observed very carefully Monk's solemn 
protestations against the king and for the Common- 
wealth, it seems he was so pleased with the original 
that he resolved to copy after it, without letting him- 
self be diverted from it by scruples ; for he stuck 
neither at solemn protestations, both by word of 
mouth and by letters (of which I have seen many 
proofs), nor of appeals to God of his sincerity in act- 
ing for Presbytery, both in prayers and on other 
occasions, joining with these many dreadful impreca- 
tions on himself if he did prevaricate. He was all 
the while maintained by the Presbyterians as their 
agent, and continued to give them a constant account 
of the progress of his negotiation in their service, while 
he was indeed undermining it. This piece of craft 
was so visible, he having repeated his protestations to 
as many persons as then grew jealous of him, that 
when he threw off the mask about a year after this, 
it laid a foundation of such a character of him that 
nothing could ever bring people to any tolerable 
thoughts of a man whose dissimulation and treachery 
were so well known, and of which so many proofs 
were to be seen under his own hand."^ 

' It is biat fair to the memory of Sliarp to say that the man who, by 
his position as a Churchman, and by his services to ecclesiastical history, 
has the best title to represent the Church of Scotland — the Church 
wounded by the event which was prosperous to Sharp — has deliberately, 
and after a full view of the evidence, declined to press the charge of 
deliberate turpitude. He thinks that Sharp was merely a seK-seeking 
man who took the winning side when it was offered to him, concluding : 
" He laboured, as it appears to us, honestly for its establishment at the 
Restoration so long as there was any hope of its being established. He 


The Estates of Parliament were to meet on tlie 
first day of the year 1661. It had been for a short 
time doubtful whether the meeting might not be 
subject to a sense of degradation, from the absence 
of certain decorations appropriate to the supreme 
legislature of Scotland. They were merely valuable 
chattels, yet were objects of deep national homage. 
Immediately on the Eestoration came a question, 
— What had become of the Honours of Scotland — 
of the crown, the sceptre, and the sword ? It was 
naturally supposed that they had been removed to 
London. They were not there ; had they, then, been 
destroyed, as part of the plan for obliterating the 
traditions of Scottish nationality "? Another rumour 
was that they had been taken abroad ; but, to the in- 
finite delight of the people, it was announced that they 
were safe at home. But their escape had been nar- 
row. They had been in the official custody of the 
Earl Marischal, who was lord of Dunnottar, one of the 
strongest fortresses in Scotland. Thither they were 
taken on Cromwell's invasion. But as one strength 
fell after another, and Dumbarton and Dunnottar only 
remained untaken, it was as absolutely certain as 
human events can be, that Dunnottar would not long 
hold against Cromwell's cannon. Two women — the 
wives, one of the commander, the other of the minister 
of the neighbouring parish of Kinneff — formed and 
effected a plan for concealing the honours. Mrs 
Granger, the minister's wife, carried them out through 
the besieging army. The crown lay in her lap ; the 

only abandoned the cause when it was hopeless. This was not the part 
of a magnanimous man — it was not even the part of a sensitively hon- 
ovirable or scrupulous man, considering the part that he had acted." — 
North British Eeview, vii. 455. 

PARLIAMENT, l66r. 415 

sword and sceptre seem to have made a sort of dis- 
taff for a mass of lint which, like a thrifty Scottish 
matron, she was busily spinning into thread. The 
minister buried them at night under the flags of his 
church, and in that remote quiet parish church they 
remained in entire concealment. As it Avas necessary 
to keep the secret from friends as well as enemies, the 
public had a pleasant surprise when it was revealed.^ 

Scotland was less fortunate in the fate of another 
piece of property, according to modern notions far 
more valuable. A considerable mass of the national 
records had been removed to London during the Pro- 
tectorate. It Avas observed that after the arrival of the 
king they were still detained ; and this was coupled 
with an unpleasant rumour, that Clarendon had recom- ' 
mended the king to keep up the forts built by Crom- 
well in Scotland, with their garrisons. That these 
chiefly consisted of Englishmen made them off'ensive in 
Scotland ; and, as Roundheads, it is difBcult to suppose 
them a valuable acquisition to the new Government. 
Yet it was not until after a strong remonstrance from 
his servants in Scotland that the king consented to 
disband them and dismantle the fortresses. It is said 
that the reason for detaining the records was to 
discover and destroy the Covenant signed by the 
king if it could be found. They were shipped for 
Scotland before the end of the year 1661, but were 
lost on the way by shipwreck. 

By the recovery of the Regalia, the Estates were 
thus enabled to assemble with all proper pomp and 
ceremony. The commissioner was not selected, ac- 
cordino- to former practice, from the heads of great 

' Papers relative to the Regalia of Scotland, Bannatyne Club, 1829. 


houses ; nor was lie, like Chancellor Hyde in Eng- 
land, a learned lawyer and sagacious statesman, who 
might be counted on for a policy prudent and far- 
sighted. The new Lord High Commissioner was 
John Middleton, a soldier of fortune, created Earl 
of Middleton for the occasion. He had literally 
risen from the ranks. Even in the courteous an- 
nouncements of the peerages it is told that he " was 
a pikeman in Hepburn's regiment in France." ^ He has 
on several occasions passed before us — lastly, and most 
conspicuously, in " Glencairn's expedition." Along 
with his commission to represent the sovereign in the 
Estates, he was invested with duties more appropriate 
to his career as a dashing soldier, in the command of 
the forces and the government of Edinburgh Castle. 
Perhaps it was a good selection, since the work to be 
done in that Parliament required one accustomed 
rather to the word of command than the transaction 
of business in committee. 

The great achievement of the session was the " Act 
Eescissory." It "rescinded" or cut off from the body 
of the law all the statutes passed in the Parliament 
of 1640 and subsequently." This withdrew from 
the statute-book all legislation later than the year 
1633, for the Parliament of 1639 passed no statutes. 
Certainly no Act of the Scots Estates had ever accom- 
plished so much as this. The Estates had been un- 
usually busy in these cancelled Parliaments, and gave 
forth a mighty bulk of legislation, in which the Acts 
affecting the large questions in civil and ecclesiastical 

^ Douglas, by Wood, ii. 231. 

" Act rescinding and annulling the pretended Parliaments in tlie years 
1640, 1641, &c. 

ACT RESCISSORY, 1661. 417 

politics were but of small bulk ; but it was thought 
well to seize the opportunity and cast away the whole, 
leaving it to the diligence of succeeding Parliaments 
to restore all that related to the administration of 
civil and criminal justice, to commercial legislation, 
taxation, coinage, social institutions, and all the 
complex elements of the legislation of the seventeenth 
century. It was a partial realisation of the wish 
imagined by Wordsworth for Rob Eoy the outlaw — 
" Burn all the statutes and their shelves." It is a 
short Act, and yet in its brevity a piece of slovenly 
legislative work. The Acts thrown away are neither 
admitted to be valid Acts of Parliament which should 
be repealed, nor are they declared to be null as having 
been illegally passed; but they are spoken of as invalid, 
and yet are repealed. We have evidence of the hurried 
preparation and passing of the measure. The practice 
of passing Acts of Parliament in this reign was not to 
bring in bills and pass them amended or otherwise, 
but to leave the Lord Clerk Register to put the Act 
in shape after its substance was adopted. That high 
officer, indeed, had the chief work of every measure, 
and could expedite or retard it as he chose. We find 
Middleton writing to Primrose, who was then Clerk 
Register : " The Act that is now before you is of the 
greatest consequence imaginable, and is like to meet 
with many difiiculties if not speedily gone about. 
Petitions are preparing, and if the thing were done it 
would dash all these bustling oppositions." Then after 
promises of substantial gratitude if it is done : " Now 
I am more concerned in this than I was ever in a 
particular. The speedy doing is the thing I propose 
as the great advantage, if it be possible to prepare it 
VOL. VII. 2 D 


to be presented to-morrow by ten o'clock in the fore- 
noon to the Articles, that it may be brought into the 
Parliament to-morrow in the afternoon. The reason of 
this haste shall be made known to you at meeting."^ 
Burnet mentions a feature of the times felicitous to 
such rapid operations : " It was a mad roaring time, 
full of extravagance ; and no wonder it was so, when 
the men of affairs were almost perpetually drunk." 

The Act Rescissory Avas immediately followed by 
" an Act concerning religion and Church government." 
After some preliminaries of pious thankfulness for his 
majesty's preservation and restoration, there follow 
assurances "that his majesty will be careful to promote 
the power of godliness, to encourage the exercises of 
religion, both public and private, and to suppress all 
profaneness and disorderly walking." There is no 
legislation in the statute — that is for the future ; and 
it is announced, that " as to the government of the 
Church, his majesty will make it his care to settle and 
secure the same in such a frame as shall be most agree- 
able to the Word of God, most suitable to monarchi- 
cal government, and most complying with the public 
peace and quiet of the kingdom." There was a hint 
of what was coming, in an arrangement " in the mean 
time" to "allow the present administration by sessions, 
presbyteries, and synods," " and that notwithstanding 
of the preceding Act Rescissory of all pretended Parlia- 
ments since the year 1633."^ Thus the existing arrange- 
ments were a temporary expedient, and the basis on 
which the permanent organisation was to stand was 
the system of Church government existing in 1633. 

The plot is now completed. Sharp had announced 

1 Baillie's Letters, iii. 686. « Act. Pari, vii. 88. 


the prospect of a proclamation, assuring his friends 
of the preservation " of the established worship, dis- 
cipline, and government " of their Church. He brings 
down such a proclamation. Suddenly, as in one of 
the revolutions of a pantomime, the whole apparatus 
of the Presbyterian polity is swept from the stage, 
and Prelacy stands in its place as the established " dis- 
cipline and government." Is anything necessary to 
complete the evidence that Sharp's hand was in this 
feat ■? If so, it is at hand in a letter to Middleton, 
in which he takes credit as the inventor of the 
whole. Describing an audience with the king, he 
says : " He spoke to me of the method to be used 
for bringing about our Church settlement, and bade 
me give my opinion of a present expedient, which, 
when I had offered, he was pleased to approve ; so 
did the Bishops of London and Worcester; and after 
consultation with our lords, it was agreed that 
Lauderdale and I should draw a proclamation from 
the king, to be sent to your grace, with which I 
trust you will be satisfied ; and, with submission to 
your grace's opinion, I should think the time for 
our settling will be more seasonable and proper after 
that your grace hath come hither, and so ordered the 
way of it as that the perfecting of the work may 
be upon your hand, from whom it had its beginning, 
and under whose countenance and protection it must 
thrive and take rooting. Your grace knoweth the 
work is of great consequence, and will not want 
its difficulties, which can only be overcome by your 
prudence and resolution. Many things are previous 
to the ordering and signing of it; and till they be 
moulded, the proclamation will suffice to the dispos- 


ing of minds to acquiescence to the king's pleasure, 
which your grace will be able to put into execution 
with fewer inconveniences than if the king should 
presently declare." ^ 

The field was now cleared for an " Act for the resti- 
tution and re-establishment of the ancient government 
of the Church by archbishops and bishops." This was 
passed on the 27th of May, just two days before the 
anniversary of the Restoration. An Act had been 
passed for keeping that day holy. Many were pre- 
pared to evade the provision, and some to give overt 
evidence of its offensiveness. Besides the established 
objection to holidays as idolatrous, it was held, by an 
ingenious logic, that although the 29th of May hap- 
pened to be the day of the restoration of a worthy 
prince, it might also happen to be the anniversary 
of some atrocity or calamity. Of course the Act 
coming so close on its first celebi-ation only aggra- 
vated the hostility. This in its turn enraged the 
Court, and excited them to a measure which has some 
interest as the first of a countless succession for 
harassing the Presbyterian clergy. The offenders 
were denounced as " such who pretend to ane greater 
measure of zeal and piety, and no less loyalty, than 
others, but who, under that pretext, always have been 
and are incorrigible enemies to the present ancient 
and laudable government of Church and State ; " and 
it was decreed that they should be incapable of hold- 
ing any benefice in the Church.^ 

The hierarchy was in existence before the Act for 

' Letter from original in British Museum ; Trans. Ant. Soc. Soot., 
ii. 104. 

^ Act. Pari., vii. 376. 


the restoration of Episcopacy was passed. Only one 
of the old bishops remained, and the rest had to go to 
England for consecration. Those of them who had 
not been ordained episcopally had to accept a second 
ordination. Among these Sharp was one. Even to 
his brazen nature there seems to have come a touch 
of shame at this solemn avowal that his sacred office 
as a minister, and the institution whence he drew it, 
were both impostors. He reasoned against the double 
ordination, but in vain ; and as he was not the stuff 
that martyrs are made of, he had to accept of it. An- 
other ceremony of interest to religious parties in Scot- 
land came off at the same time — the Covenant was 
solemnly burned by the hands of the common hangman. 
The G-overnment had meanwhile taken measures 
for strengthening its hands ; and it is curious to 
note how closely they sometimes followed the pre- 
cedent of the Parliamentary government of twelve 
years earlier. A Privy Council was erected, with 
powers unknown to the old Secret Council. It was 
virtually to continue the supreme powers of the 
Estates in the intervals between the sessions. It was 
thus a copy from the old " Committee of Estates," 
with this difference, that it was created by the Crown, 
not by the Estates themselves. The creation of a 
standing army was begun in a life-guard, consisting, 
like the French musketeers, of men above the rank of 
common pikemen. To the old kings of Scotland the 
formation of a standing army was so far beyond the 
range of possibility that it was never attempted. It 
was with difficulty that any one of them obtained in 
time of emergency a permanent force — that is, an 
army which could at any time be taken from him. 


but was allowed to remain in his hands. When 
Queen ]\Iary's mother attempted to create a guard 
such as she was familiar with in France, she brought 
a political crisis. "When James VI. was permitted to 
keep forty gentlemen for his defence from outrage, it 
was deemed a great concession. But the Covenanters 
had found out how to levy and keep embodied armies 
exceeding twenty thousand men. The new Govern- 
ment could not but learn some lesson from such an 
example. They had organised a system of taxation, 
too, for the support of their troops. In the Act Ee- 
scissory, among other hard things, it is said of them 
that " they laid new exactions on the people, which 
in one month did far exceed whatever by the king's 
authority had been levied in a whole year." The 
machinery used for raising these funds was at hand, 
to be employed by new masters in the collection of 
the cess or tax. 

Wliile the Estates were yet transacting business, 
some tragedies began to be enacted, bringing both 
gloom and terror into the reign which had opened 
with so much joviality. 

In England the Parliament was speedily, after the 
king's arrival, engaged with an Act of Indemnity for 
the protection of the large class of persons who had 
done acts capable any day of bringing them within 
the letter of the laws of treason. The Indemnity Act 
was the completion of discussions which were virtually 
a treaty with Charles II. before he was permitted to 
land in England. No doubt those who arranged 
matters with him sjooke as if his sacred majesty were 
already their king ; but they made him understand 
that the theory of his divine right would have no 

VICTIMS — ARGYLE, 1661. 423 

chance of realisation if England was likely to become 
a political shambles. It has been maintained that 
the treaty was ill kept on the Royalist side.^ For 
Scotland there was no treaty. One cause of this 
omission might be that the regicides and their abet- 
tors were looked at as the leading objects of ven- 
geance, and they belonged to England. In Scotland 
the indemnity awaited the meeting of the Estates. 
Before that event a few victims had been selected ; 
and it was determined that of these Argyle, as he was 
the chief, should also be the first. His trial was an affair 
of statesmanship rather than of the administration of 
the criminal law. The blow was to be struck rather 
for what he might and could do, than for what he had 
done. To strike him, of aU men, was spoken of as a 
deed of l^ase ingratitude, since he had put the crown 
upon the king's head ; but the very power that en- 
abled him to do that might enable him to take it off 
again. If the possession of a power dangerous to 
such a Government as that of Charles II. was to be, is 
a justification for putting the powerful man to death, it 
existed here. While the king could only bring into 
the field such an army as the great landowners might 
consent to supply him with, here was one of them 
whose personal following was estimated at five thou- 
sand men. But that was not nearly all. Past history 
taught that in a quarrel with the king on the old 
question of twenty years ago, that would be but a 
fragment of the forces at Argyle's disposal. There 
was a mere shade of difference between the powers 
exercised by him on his Highland territory and the 
powers of an absolute sovereign. It was exceptional 

1 See Hallam's Constitutional History, ii. 214. 


from all other parts of Scotland in this, that its lord 
possessed a Justiciary. This is a supreme court com- 
petent to the infliction of all punishments, from death 
downwards. In other courts, such as " regalities " and 
" sherifl'ships," other great landowners held in their 
hands the issues of life and death ; but these were 
always in name, and generally in reality, subsidiary 
to the royal power. But the "justiciary of Argyle" 
was supreme as that of the King of Scotland in the 
other parts of the realm.^ We have already seen a 
practical attestation of his great power in the treaty 
in which he and the English Republic were the high 
contracting parties. 

There was something offensive to good feeling, if 
not absolutely treacherous, in the method of his cap- 
ture. He could only have been taken out of Inverary 
at the end of a successful war against him. He went 
up to London in full reliance on his safety, to pay his 
court to the new sovereign. The king was so far 
candid as to refuse him an audience. He was seized, 
committed to the Tower, and sent in all convenient 
speed in a ship of war to Edinburgh. He was guard- 
ed in Edinburgh Castle. On the 13th of February 
articles of high treason were laid against him before 
the Estates, which had just assembled. The record 
of his trial has disappeared, but probably the loss to 
history is not serious. Acts which could be inter- 
preted through the law into treason against the 
Crown could be proved against him in superfluous 
abundance ; and if we had the indictment and plead- 

' As a testimony to its supremacy down to the abolition of the herit- 
ahle jurisdictions in 1748, the records of the old "justiciary of Argyle" 
are stiU preserved in Inverary, the capital of the territory. 

VICTIMS — WARRISTON, 1661-63. 425 

ings, they would probably furnish us with nothing 
better than confused material for a distorted history 
of the times. ^ He was beheaded on the High Street 
of Edinburgh on the 27th of May. He met his end 
with firmness and calm dignity, and the narratives 
relating it have found a high place in the traditions 
of Scottish heroism. 

Another selected victim was Warriston. Like his 
leader Argyle, and many others of the day, if, as a 
political question, the decision was that he should die, 
it was easy to bring him within the grasp of the law 
of treason. Against one who had been so actively 
at work through those wild times, an accusation is 
interesting chiefly for the selection which his enemies 
may make from the several passages of his life. One 
charge was " his constant and malicious opposition to 
the authority and commands of his majesty's royal 
father of ever-blessed memory, ever since the begin- 
ning of these troubles in the year 1637." This accu- 
sation could have applied to so comprehensive a body 

'' Burnet tells us, that on tlie question whether his " compliance with 
the usurpers" was voluntary or inevitable, "while it was very doubtful 
how it would have gone, Monk, by an inexcusable baseness, had searched 
among his letters, and fonnd some that were written by Argyle to him- 
self that were hearty and zealous on their side. These he sent down to 
Scotland ; and after they were read in Parliament it could not be pre- 
tended that his compliance was feigned and extorted from him." By a 
curious fatality the " baseness " of such an act has been indorsed by 
Monk's vindicators in an indignant denial that it was committed by him. 
After much distinguished controversy, the question was settled by a prac- 
tising lawyer in Edinburgh, who, in search of authorities on a point of 
penal practice, found that Sir George Mackenzie, who held a law office 
at the time, in his ' Laws and Customs of Scotland in Matters criminal,' 
cites the production and use of the papers sent by Monk as an important 
precedent. The controversy will be found in Fox's ' Reign of James,' 
Sir George Rose's ' Observations ' on that book, Mr Heywood's ' Vindica- 
tion' of it, and the 'Edinburgh Review' for July 1809 and August 1811. 


of his countrymen, that one would think it scarce 
worth stating when there were others peculiar to 
himself, like the following : That " he did give his aid 
and assistance to those who murdered his majesty's 
royal father;" " and that by sitting and acting in the 
years 1657, 1658, 1659, upon ane call from the mur- 
derer and usurper, or his son, as ane of the peers of 
England in ane pretended House of Lords newly set 
up by the usurper ; and by his sitting and acting as 
president of a pretended Committee of Safety set up 
by the murderer and usurpers." This charge gives 
a glimpse of the contradictory variety of acts that 
might have brought any of the actors in the business 
of the day within the treason -law if his life were 
wanted. Warriston's intercommuning with the sec- 
taries was woefully bemoaned as a backslide by his 
brethren of the Remonstrance. Yet that he adhered 
to that testimony, and was a party to the bitter utter- 
ance of its creed, called 'The Causes of the Lord's 
Wrath,' were among the items of his treason.^ 

When Warriston heard that he was to be attacked, 
he removed or "fled" to the Continent. He was 
condemned in his absence. This was a step onward 
in the docti'ine that Parliamentary trials are bound 
by no law or precedent. Forfeiture and outlawry for 
not appearing to answer an accusation were forms 
much abused ; but this is the first occasion in which 
witnesses were examined and condemnation awarded 
in absence of the accused. Wandering from country 
to country, he was hunted down in France and sent 
to Edinburgh for execution. There is a story of the 
time, that when brought before the Council to be 

^ See tlie cliarge in the Scots Acts, vii. appendix 70. 

VICTIMS — GUTHRIE, 1661. 427 

identified, he crouched and fawned and drivelled after 
a fashion not to be expected in one who had passed 
a life in dangerous political warfare. But his later 
life of physical hardship might have unnerved him ; 
and it was said that he had been treacherously treated 
by a hostile physician. He received his sentence with 
decorous courage. Lauderdale, who was present, says : 
"When the sentence was pronounced, his carriage 
pleaded much better than anything I could have 
expected ; for he received the sentence to be hanged, 
and to have his head affixed, with much more com- 
posedness of spirit than I did expect. He sat on his 
knees, according to the custom, and then prayed God 
to bless the king, to bless the Parliament, to keep 
every one from his condition ; and again he prayed 
for the king, for the Church, and for the kingdom, 
and, without one word for himself, he went out." ^ 

It was determined to have another representative 
victim, and to take him from the Church. James 
Guthrie was the selected victim and martyr. He 
was the most vehement, active, and implacable of all 
the Eemonstrants, and uttered his testimony in the 
strongest language, in multitudinous shapes, and on 
countless occasions. The last was fresh in memory 
— he was of the little group who had addressed the 
ofiensive " supplication " to Charles himself. The 
indictment against him, in its very formalities, 
carries an impression of his restless energy. It is 
among the charges against him, that " he did contrive, 
complot, counsel, consult, draw up, frame, invent, 
spread abroad, or disperse — speak, preach, declaim, or 
utter — divers and sundry vile seditions and treason- 

^ Letter to Sir RoLort Miirray, Lauderdale Papers. 


able remonstrances, declarations, petitions, instructions, 
letters, speeches, preachings, declamations, and other 
expressions tending to the vilifying and contemning, 
slander and reproach, of his majesty, his progenitors, 
his person, majesty, dignity, authority, prerogative 
royal, and government."^ 

He was the actual author both of the Eemonstrance 
itself and of 'The Causes of the Lord's Wrath;' and 
in such authorship he did, as his indictment says, 
" utter and belch forth a great many damnable and 
execrable leasings, slanders, and reproaches against 
his majesty's dearest father of eternal memory, and 
others his majesty's noble progenitors, their persons, 
majesty, dignity, authority, and government." 

Burnet says that at his trial, " when his lawyers 
offered him legal defences, he would not be advised by 
them, but resolved to take his own way. He con- 
fessed and justified all that he had done as agreeing 
to the principles and practices of the Kirk." Between 
his trial and his execution on the 1st of June every 
word that dropped from his lips was carefully treasured 
as a relic precious beyond price. A scene following 
on the tragedy must be told in the words of the his- 
torian of the sufferings : — 

" After he was taken down his head was severed 
from his body with an axe. It was observed there 
was a vast effusion of blood that flowed from his body, 
which was presently put into a coffin, and carried into 
the Old Kirk aisle, where it was dressed by a number 
of ladies of good quality. Some of them took their 
napkins and dipped them in the blood ; and when 
Sir Archibald Primrose, the Register, challenged one 

' Scots Acts, V. appendix 74. 

VICTIMS — GUTHRIE, 1661. 429 

of them — viz., Mrs Janet Erskine, married after to Sir 
Thomas Burnett, doctor of medicine — for so doing, 
saying ' it was a piece of the superstition and idolatry 
of the Eomish Church to reserve the relics of the 
saints,' it was answered, they intended not to abuse 
it unto superstition or idolatry, but to hold up the 
bloody napkin to heaven in their addresses, that the 
Lord might remember the innocent blood that was 
spilt. In the time that the body was a-dressing there 
came in a pleasant young gentleman and poured out 
a bottle of rich ointment on the body, which filled the 
whole church with a noble perfume. One of the 
ladies says, ' God bless you, sir, for this labour of 
love which you have shown to the slain body of a 
servant of Jesus Christ ! ' He, without speaking to 
any, giving them a bow, removed, not loving to be 

His head was set up on the Nether Bow port ; and it 
was a story believed at the time, and long afterwards, 
that as Middleton was driving through the gateway 
some drops fell from that head upon his coach, which 
coidd not be obliterated by all the chemical art that 
Edinburgh could afford. As this is characteristic of 
the times, it may also be mentioned as characteristic, 
that a few months before his martyrdom, Guthrie, in 
one of his vehement testimonies, had denounced toler- 
ation as one of the sins and dangers of the age.^ 

It was believed that Guthrie would have had a 

' Wodrow Analeota, i. 109. 

^ ' Some Considerations contributing unto the Discoverie of the Dan- 
gers that threaten Religion and the Work of Reformation in the Church 
of Scotland. By James Guthrie, minister of the Gospel at Stirling. 
1660.' Consideration third — " From the toleration and protection that 
is pleaded for and allowed to many gross errors and heresies." 


companion in martyrdom through the designs against 
Samuel Rutherford ; " but," as the faithful Wodrow 
says, " he had a higher tribunal to appear before, 
where his judge was his friend. Mr Rutherford died 
in March this year, the very day before the Act Re- 
scissory was passed in the Parliament. This eminent 
saint and faithful servant of Jesus Christ lamented 
when near his end that he was withheld from bear- 
ing witness to the work of reformation since the year 
1638, and giving his public testimony against the evil 
courses of the present time." ^ 

It was naturally believed that had he lived it 
would have been for martyrdom, since a book written 
by him called 'Lex, Rex,' was in solemn judgment 
burned by the hangman at the cross of Edinburgh 
and at the gate of the University of St Andrews, 
where Rutherford had been professor of divinity. 

This book was published in 1644, and in the pre- 
sent day its aspect would not excite any alarm that it 
would achieve a permanent popularity productive of 
pernicious influence on the public mind. It would 
rather be anticipated, that for all the notoriety given 
to it by the conflagration, the vulgar would find it a 
tough literary morsel. No doubt a principle may be 
extracted from it by much labour — the principle that 
kings are responsible to their people for their righteous 
dealing. There is a corollary to this, that the clergy 
of the true Church are the judges of right and wrong ; 
and the final inference is, that these gentlemen are the 
rulers of the world. But Rutherford, though he wrote 
the letters which have acquired such a wide reputa- 
tion, did not take up a question of such gravity as 

» Sufferings, i. 206. 

RUTHERFORD, 1661. 43 1 

this in the method of a wild declaim er. He was the 
last of that race of Scottish clergy who were vehement 
Presbyterians and great scholars. His dense quarto 
pages are strewed with Latin, Greek, and Hebre\^^ 
There are countless quotations, not only from well- 
known names, as Tertullian, Cyprian, Chrysostom, and 
Augustin, but from such remoter authorities as Arnis- 
£eus, Pirerius, Toletus, and Bodinus. Upwards of 
four hundred pages of general discussion have to be 
toiled through before we are brought to the practical 
and dangerous conclusion of the inquiry, in the ex- 
hausting of the question " whether the King of Scot- 
land be an absolute prince, having prerogatives 
against Parliament and laws." But had the Court 
known all, they would have found little to fear even 
here. The precedents are taken from that race of 
shadowy monarchs who have now vanished into thin 
air, and the chief value and interest attaching to the 
' Lex, Eex,' is its testimony to the permanent influence 
of the services to which Buchanan and his followers 
put the fictitious history of early Scotland.^ It is 
another testimony to this, that a proclamation was 
issued against a translation of "an old seditious 
pamphlet called ' De Jure Eegni apud Scotos,' where- 
of Mr George Buchanan was the author." ^ 

^ Thus: "The Parliament rejected the lawful son of Cerbredus, the 
tn'entieth king, because he was young, created Dardanus, the son of 
Metellanus, king, which is a great argument of the power of the Scot- 
tish Parliament." — P. 449. " Conarus, twenty-fourth king, was cast in 
prison by the Parliament because he did the weightier business that 
concerned the kingdom by private advice without the judicial ordinance 
of Parliament." — 'Lex, Rex : The Law and the Prince. A Dispute for 
the just Prerogative of King and People. — London, 1644.' 

"" Wodrow, i. 416. 





AT COURT — Lauderdale's position — contest with middle- 
ton — VICTORY — constitutional revelations of THE con- 
test — ROTHES as commissioner government of LAUDER- 
DALE its mysterious policy THE PERSECUTION QUARTER- 








Under a Government so little to be trusted, the pro- 
mised indemnity was waited for very anxiously by 
the large body of men who might be brought within 
the letter of the law of treason. It was not adjusted 
until the autumn of 1662. Part of the adjustment 
was a levy of fines, as the condition of exemption or 
pardon. The number of persons fined amounted to 

ABJURATION ACT, 1 662. 433 

bet^veen seven and eight hundred. The object of 
levying the fines was said in the Act to be for the 
reparation of the losses of many good subjects who 
" have been under great sufferings and liable to great 
loss for their affection and loyalty to his majesty.'"-^ 
Whether intended in the scheme of the Acts, or dis- 
covered afterwards, this adjustment gave cruel powers 
to the Government against the persons fined. They 
were not pardoned, leaving the fines as a debt which 
the Government might recover. If the fine were not 
paid, the indemnity dropped. Men who could not 
aff'ord to pay at all, or to pay promptly, continued 
liable to all the treason - laws ; and when it was 
thought desirable to retain a strong hold over them, 
it was also thought desirable that they should fail 
to pay their fines. 

A succession of measures for forcing men not only 
to adhere to the new order, but to abjure and condemn 
the old, began in the session of 1662, in an Act de- 
manding a declaration from all persons in public trust. 
With other abjurations, the declaration says of the 
Covenant and the National League and Covenant, that 
they " are of themselves unlawful oaths, and were 
taken by and imposed upon the subjects of this king- 
dom against the fundamental laws and liberties of the 
same." Among those who must take the declaration 
are not only the ministers of the Crown, the judges 
and other officers appointed and paid by the Crown, 

1 Act. Pari., viiL 415 ; " the king's majesty's gracious and free 
pardon. Act of Indemnity and Oblivion," p. 420 ; " Act containing 
some exceptions from the Act of Indemnity," p. 420. The list of 
persons and fines is given at length, heginning, " The Earl of Lothian 
in the sum of six thousand pounds Scots." 

VOL. VII. 2 E 


but members of Parliament, magistrates, and council- 
lors of burghs, and persons having " any other public 
charge, office, and trust within this kingdom." 

As there were several clergymen who since the 
year 1639 had not been presented by the patrons of 
their benefices, a law was passed to eject them from 
the ministry unless they obtained formal presentation, 
and also accepted of Episcopal collation. At the 
same time, all clergymen who had merely received 
Presbyterian ordination were required to accept of 
Episcopal collation. The clergymen who complied 
with these rules became unpopular, and their flocks 
sought spiritual nourishment elsewhere. Hence, even 
before the Church was broken up, assemblies began 
to be held, which were denounced in Parliament as 
" unlawful meetings and conventicles, the nurseries 
of sedition " " kept in private houses." ^ 

As yet the law scolded rather than struck. The 
ministers who failed to obtain Episcopal collation 
were not driven forth, and there was no direct penalty 
on those who frequented conventicles. Following the 
principle that there should be a remedy for every 
wrong, the Privy Council, under their powers as re- 
presenting the Estates between sessions, passed an 
Act on 1st October 1662, where, on the narrative that 
certain clergymen who have not obeyed the injunc- 
tion to obtain Episcopal collation continue to dis- 
charge their ministerial duties, these ministers are 
prohibited " to exercise any part of the function of 
the ministry at their respective churches in time 
coming, which are hereby declared to be vacant ; and 
that none of their parishioners who are liable in any 

' Act concerning masters of universities, ministers, &c. 

THE EJECTION, 1662. 435 

part of their stipends make payment to them of this 
instant crop and year of God 1662, or in time com- 
ing, as having no right thereunto, and that they do 
not acknowledge them for their lawful pastors in 
repairing to their sermons." The recusant ministers 
were required " to remove themselves and their fami- 
lies out of their parishes" before the 1st of November 
— that is, within a month from the date of the Act.^ 

This Act was adopted in Glasgow. The historian 
of the sufferings tells us that the citizens of that town 
called the meeting of Council where it was passed 
"The Drunken Parliament," on account of the condition 
of the councillors present at it. An earlier writer says : 
" The report was, being convened in Glasgow, there 
was never a man amono; them but he was drunk at 
the time, except only Lee" — Lockhart of Lee — who 
said " that proclamation would only lay the country 
desolate, and increase the hatred to bishops and con- 
fusion among the people." ^ 

The abruptness of this Act was seen to be a mistake. 
The Council afterwards gave time and opportunity 
for conforming. The end, however, was, that three 
hundred and fifty ministers abandoned their benefices. 
As the bulk of their congregations followed them, or 
at least abandoned the Church when their successors 
were appointed, an Act was passed for the imprac- 
ticable purpose of compelling people to attend their 
parish churches. It denounced " all and every such 
persons as shall hereafter ordinarily and wilfully with- 
draw and absent themselves from the ordinary meet- 
ings for divine worship in their own parish churches 
on the Lord's Day." Penalties were laid according 

1 Wodrow, i. 283. = Kirkton, 150. 


to rank on these absentees. They were fixed at a 
maximum so lai-ge as to give enormous power to those 
who exacted them. Thus the yeoman farmer's fine 
was to be a sum " not exceeding" a fourth of his means ; 
and the burgess's was to be the same, and the forfeit- 
ure of his privilege of trading.^ This Act was popu- 
hxrly styled the bishops' " Drag-net." There was found 
to be a serious imperfection in it, as persons of the 
male sex did not form the entire congregations, or 
even the greater part of them, and it was necessarj^ 
that husbands be made responsible for the absence of 
their wives. 

The penal regulations of this period were completed 
by an Act of Council called " The Mile Act." It was 
an aggravation of the English " Five-Mile Act" against 
the Nonjurors. It required that no recusant minister 
should reside within twenty miles of his old parish, 
six miles of Edinburgh or any cathedral town, or 
three miles of any royal burgh ; and the punishment 
for breaking this rule was in general terms made the 
same as the punishment for sedition.^ 

As this legislative war for the extirpation of the 
prevalent religion greatly increased the work of the 
Privy Council, the Court of Justiciary, and the humbler 
tribunals of the country, aid was sought to them, and 
was obtained in the erection of a new tribunal, to deal 
especially with ecclesiastical offences. It was the 
restoration of the Court of High Commission — that 
institution abhorred and dreaded both in England and 
Scotland. Intended to attack the Covenanters, it 
opened, as if by a cynical pleasantry, against thePapists. 

* Act against separation and disobedience to ecclesiastical authority. 
= The Act is in Wodrow, i. 341. 


Nothing can better express its comprehensive powers 
of molestation and infliction than the terms — not 
chargeable with indistinctness or ambiguity — of the 
commission itself. The court were authorised " to 
summon and call before them, at whatsoever place 
and time they shall appoint, all Popish traffickers, 
intercom muners with and resetters of Jesuits and 
seminary priests ; all who say or hear mass ; all ob- 
stinate contemners of the discipline of the Church, 
or for that cause suspended, deprived, or excommuni- 
cated ; all keepers of conventicles ; all ministers who, 
contrary to the laws and Acts of Parliament or Coun- 
cil, remain or intrude themselves on the function of 
the ministry in these parishes and bounds inhibited 
by these Acts ; all such who preach in private houses 
or elsewhere without licence from the bishop of the 
diocese ; all such persons who keep meetings at fasts, 
and the administration of the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper, which are not appro ven by authority; all who 
speak, preach, write, or print to the scandal, reproach, 
or detriment of the estate or government of the Church 
or kingdom as now established ; all who contemn, 
molest, or injure the ministers who are obedient to the 
laws ; all who do not orderly attend divine worship, 
administration of the Word, and sacraments performed 
in their respective parish churches by ministers legally 
settled for taking care of these parishes in which those 
persons are inhabitants ; all such who without any 
lawful calling, as busy-bodies, go about houses and 
places for corrupting and disaffecting people from their 
allegiance, respect, and obedience to the laws ; and in 
general, without prejudice to the particulars above 
mentioned, all who express their disaffection to his 

438 CHARLES 11. 

majesty's authority, by contravening Acts of Parlia- 
ment or Council in relation to Cliurcli affairs." ^ 

It was in the midst of all this that there came a 
revolution at Court, which had no sensible influence 
on its policy of harshness, though those who looked 
to the tenor of the past had a right to expect in the 
change of men a change of policy. There was a 
struggle between Lauderdale and ]\Iiddleton ; and 
Lauderdale, the sagacious politician, deep in a know- 
ledge of practical business and the nature of the men 
he had to deal with, vanquished the prompt soldier, 
whose notions of politics were limited to command 
and obedience. As we shall see, Lauderdale's nature 
and purposes were a riddle not easily read ; but he 
had done enough to countenance any charge of par- 
tiality for the Presbyterian polity, and this was ever 
odious at Court. One who had opportunities for 
much knowledge, but was apt, as a practical states- 
man, to colour his accounts with an object — Sir 
George Mackenzie, the wit and lawyer^gives a scene 
at Court, where Middleton, Lauderdale, and some 
other Scots statesmen discussed the policy to be pur- 
sued towards the Church with the king and Claren- 
don. Middleton took up the policy to follow on the 
Act Rescissory ; " Presbytery is after a long usurpa- 
tion now at last rescinded ; the Covenant whereby 
men thought they were obliged to it is now declared 
to have been unlawful, and the Acts of Parliament 
whereby it is fenced are now removed ; — so that it is 
arbitrary to your majesty to choose what government 
you will fix there." And he proposed that at once it 

' The commission will be found at length in Wodrow's Sufl'erings, 
i. 384. 


sliould be Episcopacy. Lauderdale suggested that 
before a final determination was adopted it might be 
well to caU a General Assembly, or consult the pro- 
vincial synods. It was answered that this were virtu- 
ally setting the Presbyterian system in action, in the 
hope that it might modify or even destroy itself; and 
the result, according to the narrator, was the harsh 
rapid policy adopted, and a serious weakening of Lau- 
derdale's influence : " Now Lauderdale was brought 
so low that his majesty would close the door upon 
him when he brought in Tarbet. He was under- 
valued by his enemies and deserted by his friends ; 
and if prosperity — which, like all ripe things, does 
soon corrupt — had not betrayed Middleton and his 
friends to too much arbitrariness and want of circum- 
spection, Lauderdale had fallen under the weight of 
his own misfortunes." ^ 

One of Middleton's acts destitute of circumspection 
was an attempt to deal a final blow against Lauder- 
dale. He still held ofiice as Secretary of State, at- 
tending on the king in London. It was proposed to 
take a vote of the Estates for disqualifying for public 
office persons specifically named, as, on account of 
their political history, not to be trusted. It was pro- 
posed to take the vote on the occasion by ballot. 
This in Parliament would at the present day be held 
a gross violation of the rights of the public, and espe- 
cially of the constituents, to know how each represen- 
tative votes. But in that day the ballot was favoured 
in legislative voting for the reason that it is at present 
favoured for constituent voting — that the voter may 
be free from corrupting or intimidating influences. 

' Sir George Mackenzie's Memoirs, 73. 


As it was said on this occasion, " None would dare 
openly to vote the removal of any present officer, 
being still jealous of the event, and sure of their 
resentment;" "and as to the interest of the people, 
it was most advantageous, because it obliged public 
ministers to be afraid of disobliging the Parliament 
and their native country ; and it did allow to every 
man a free liberty to vote according to his judgment 
and conscience." But for such reasons it was favoured 
by the democrats of the day; and to use it for the 
purposes of Charles II. 's reign would require far more 
dexterity than a man like Middleton had at com- 
mand.^ It summoned up all the array of classical 
denunciations of ostracism. As a precedent it fright- 
ened the English statesmen, and Hyde especially 
shuddered at the idea of incurring such an ordeal. 

The method of taking the ballot, as told by Mac- 
kenzie, was an amusing scene of trickery : " This way 
was by the Articles prescribed for ordering that affair : 
First, every member of Parliament was to write with 
a borrowed hand the names of twelve persons, and 
these were to be given in to the register, who was to 
hold a bag at the foot of the throne, wherein these 
billets were to be thrown ; after which the bag was 
to be sealed and to be carried up to the Exchequer 
chamber, where they were to be compared, and after 
the number was agreed upon the billets were to be 
burned, and the names of such as were billeted to be 
concealed upon oath, which form was thereafter punc- 
tually observed — only the register, having a rooted 

■ The following title of a popular pamphlet of that day has a tone as if 
it belonged to the present : ' The Benefit of the Ballot, with the Nature 
and Use thereof,' reprinted in ' State Tracts ' of the reign of Charles II. 


quarrel against Southesk, did mark his billet with a nip 
when he received it, and thereby discovered his vote." 

The register did other more important services than 
this ; for we find Middleton taking him up to Court 
along with the statutes of the session, " upon design 
to be rewarded for his pains in drawing the Acts 
so advantageously for his majesty's interest." This 
pointed to the laxity of the Scots practice in the 
omission of a precaution adopted and always adhered 
to in England — that every project of law should be 
voted in the express words in which it was to become 
an Act, and that no word should afterwards be altered 
in any paper that had been adopted by the House. 
Of the imperfect arrangements for proper Parliament- 
ary action Middleton himself gave this account in his 
contest with Lauderdale : " The Parliaments of Scot- 
land continuing only but eight days, the first day of 
the Parliament's meeting was taken up in constituting 
the House and choosing the Lords of the Articles ; 
then did the Parliament adjourn. The Lords of the 
Articles went about the drawing up and preparing 
such Acts as were to be passed in that Parliament. 
That being done, the Parliament had its second and 
last meeting, in which day all Acts were read, de- 
bated, voted, and passed." 

The commissioner, when the business of the session 
of 1662 was over, went up to Court in all the exultation 
of success, for Lauderdale was one of the ostracised. 
But for that very reason Middleton never returned to 
Scotland to be commissioner, or hold any other office. 
Lauderdale was in waiting for him, prepared to put their 
quarrel to a final issue. He put into the king's hands 
a written statement of the views he had expressed in 


Parliament on various points in Middleton's adminis- 
tration. He handled the balloting as an interference 
with the royal prerogative, and a tyrannical interfer- 
ence. There was another interference still more seri- 
ous. The commissioner had given his assent to meas- 
ures without receiving the king's special authority to 
do so. There were two legitimate courses — either that 
he should be instructed to give his authority to Acts 
for certain purposes, or if an Act was passed by the 
Estates not within any such powers, he should send it 
to the king for his instructions before giving it the 
sanction of the royal assent. It was in showing that 
such a course was impracticable that Middleton gave 
the account just cited of the practice of the Scots 
Estates. It is observable that in the contest neither 
disputant touches the old doctrine maintained by the 
Estates, that the touching with the sceptre was a mere 
act of courtesy, and that the Acts of the Scots Estates 
were effective without the royal assent. Lauderdale's 
attack was famous in its day as a great State paper ; 
but Middleton's defence, whether prepared by himself 
or not, is a work beyond the ability of such a man as 
he has been generally described by historians. There 
was a charge against him yet more serious than the 
other two. The king, by Lauderdale's advice, as it 
was said, had deferred the day for receiving payment 
of the fines imposed on recusants — an act of partial 
clemency ; and Middleton had found reason for sup- 
pressing the suspension and enforcing the fines, be- 
lieving, as it would seem, that these reasons would 
exempt him, and secure him in an indemnity.^ Be- 

1 Mackenzie's Memoirs of the Affairs of Scotland from the Restora- 
tion, 52 et seq. 


sides this — the mere external history of the event — 
there are other incidents connected with this affair of 
the billeting carrying an important bearing on the con- 
stitutional tendencies of the Government of Scotland 
at that time. The Act was new and unusual. It was 
not a law for general use and practice through the 
country, but for the guidance of the Court. Among 
the ostracised Avere two men in office besides Lauder- 
dale— Lord Crawford, and Sir Robert Murray, who had 
so much influence in Court that he became afterwards 
what might be termed the resident minister for Scotch 
business in London ; he is still more worthily known 
as the reputed founder of the Royal Society. The 
method of dealing with this peculiar Act of Parlia- 
ment was to put it into the king's hands in a sealed 
packet, presented to him, with the other Acts, by three 
officers of State. Burnet tells us that while these 
made their solemn progress, although the known ways 
to London were watched to stop any news anticipat- 
ing their business, yet it Avas managed through by- 
ways to send to Lauderdale the warning which en- 
abled him to act. 

We are told that when the State messengers at- 
tended at Com't with the statutes, the king " threw 
the Act of billeting into his cabinet, declaring that 
he would not follow their advice, nor would he dis- 
close their secret." ^ 

The king afterwards sent a message to the Estates, 
with a " commission for trying of the contrivance and 
carrying on of the Act of billeting." It spoke of "that 
strange Act for incapacitating twelve transmitted to 
his majesty sealed, and which his majesty has so 

' Mackenzie's Memoirs, 77. 


ordered that it shall never more come to light." ^ 
Several witnesses were examined on the secret history 
of the affair.^ The professed result of the investiga- 
tion was to bring home an act of double-dealing to 
Middleton. He had made the king believe that the 
Parliament desired the proscription, and made the 
Parliament believe that the king desired it. In the 
end the Parliament ratified the king's suppression of 
their two Acts for e0"ecting the ostracism, in a shape 
as novel as the Acts themselves. They were declared 
to be "now and in all time coming void and null ;" 
and ordained "to be expunged and razed out of the 
records — likeas, accordingly, the said principal Acts, 
being called for and presented in Parliament, were 
publicly razed and destroyed."^ 

Here the king suppressed a measure which, what- 
ever were its demerits or the trickery at its root, had 
formally passed the Estates and received the touch of 
the sceptre from his commissioner. Those who have 
noticed how it was from time to time contended that 
even the touch of the sceptre was unnecessary — that it 
was a mere courtesy, and that the Acts passed by the 
Estates were law without it — will recognise how far the 
old spirit of that haughty body had departed. We find 
the ruling spirit employed in working out this change 

^ Act. Pari, vii. 450. 

^ Their testimony, or an abstract of it, is in the Lauderdale Papers. 
Among those who speak most clearly to the point is the rough soldier 
Sir James Turner. He had been taken aside by Middleton, who 
had some mysterious conversation with him about a warrant for in- 
capacitating certain persons : " The Earl of Middleton asked the depon- 
ent what he would think if the person who wrote the warrant should be 
one of the number ; and thereupon the deponent asking if he meant 
the Earl of Lauderdale, he answered ' Yes.' To which the deponent said, 
' God forbid ! ' " 

3 Act. Pari., vii. 472. 


expressing his exultation in his peculiar tone of frolic 
humour. The Act of erasure was passed on the 9th 
of September. Lauderdale addressed a letter to the 
king on the " 10th of September, being the day after 
St Billeting's Day." He begins by some remarks spun 
round the text of " that which I am ravished with, 
that you govern this poor kingdom yourself." Then : 
" By yesterday's A ct you will see that billeting is dead, 
buried, and descended ; and that the Act is exactly as 
you directed." There are things referred to in this 
letter touching a matter of interest to the king — the 
marriao;e of his son Monmouth to the heiress of 
Buccleuch. But it is evidently in reference to his 
backing of the king's suppression of an Act of the 
Estates that he alludes in this remarkable concluding- 
passage : " Be pleased to weigh the whole, and com- 
mand what you please, and I need not tell you you 
shall be punctually obeyed. We durst not move what 
was so positively illegal without a clear order. But 
if it be your will, you shall see Ave know no law but 
obedience." ^ Perhaps it was of use to Lauderdale in 
his great mysterious scheme of policy, that he should 
have the king as his accomplice in an Act " positively 
illegal." We may perhaps follow up some of the 
practical action of that policj^ before again stopping 
to ask whether there is any available key to its 

There appear to have been some slight suspicions 
that Middleton would not receive sentence of ruin 
with the meekness of the lamb. Besides any political 
influence he might have established, he was governor 
of Edinburgh Castle, and had the general command of 

' Lauderdale Papers. 


the forces ; and lie was resolute, unscrupulous, and 
rash. Though he was superseded as commissioner 
in the Parliament opened on the 18th of June 1663, 
it was not until the 5th of January 1664 that he 
signed a resignation of his military offices.^ 

As Lauderdale's was the hand that had pulled down 
the enemy, it was perhaps scarcely decorous that he 
should be sent to succeed him as commissioner. That 
dignity fell to Rothes, while - his master remained at 
Court to direct him. 

It is now necessary to continue the narrative of 
local events, which ran in the old current, unbright- 
ened by the change. There was now a potent legis- 
lative machinery for harassment and punishment in 
force. To give it the more effect military parties 
were sent to aid the civil authorities in the most con- 
spicuously offending districts. The result was what 
always will be the result of putting the enforcement 
of the civil law into the hands of the soldier — licence, 
oppression, and insult. To the south-western districts 
— the centre of Remonstrantism — where the opposi- 
tion had its stronghold, a rough unscrupulous soldier, 

1 The resignation is in the Lauderdale Papers. There is something 
peculiar in dismissal not being thought sufficient, and a resignation being 
required. These Papers contain some notices of trifles jjersonal to the 
two enemies, — how Lauderdale met him " in the street — a very narrow 
one " — and they had to exchange stifl: courtesies. Tlien a scene at Court, 
described also by Lauderdale : " When the gentleman-usher went in to 
give his majesty notice supper was come, Earls Middleton and New- 
burgh stepped to him just as he was coming out at the bedchamber- 
door. Earl Middleton stopped his way, clapped briskly down on his 
knee, and taking (I say taking) his majesty by the hand, kissed it, and 
so did Newburgh after him without one word spoken. The king 
passed without farther looking after them, passed to the presence, and 
then home. This now was a feat of war I had not seen before — having 
spoke to the king at his first arrival without kissing his hand, and to 
do it thus by a sort of surprise." 

PERSECUTION, 1663-66. 447 

Sir James Turner, was sent to command the troops. 
How terrible a curse he must have been to the people 
can be better understood from the dry detail of an 
official report than from all the vehement and eloquent 
denunciations that have been heaped on him by the 
sufferers and their sympathisers. When, several years 
afterwards, there came a change of influence, the Privy 
Council made an investigation into his conduct at this 
period, and among other things done reported these : — 
" 1™°- Quartering of soldiers for levying of fines 
and impositions. '2^°- Exacting cess or quartering- 
money for more soldiers tlian were actually present, 
sometimes for double the number or more ; and that 
besides free quarters for those present, sometimes 
eightpence, sometimes twelvepence, sometimes six- 
teenpence, and sometimes more, for each man. 3*'°' 
Cess exacted for divers days, sometimes eight, ten, 
or more, before the party did actually appear. 4*° 
Imposing of fines and quartering before any previ- 
ous citation or hearing of parties. 5*°' Fining with- 
out due information from ministers. 6'°- Fining such 
as lived orderly, as appears by ministers' certificates. 
^mo. pjnijjg and cessing for causes for which there 
are no warrants from Acts of Parliament or Council 
(as, 1 "■"• Baptising of children by outed ministers ; 
2'^°- Baptising by neighbouring ministers when the 
parish church was vacant; 3''°- Marrying by outed 
ministers ; 4*°- For keeping of conventicles). 8™- 
Fining for whole years preceding his coming to the 
country, and that after they had begun to live orderly, 
gmo. Pining fathers for their daughters baptising 
their children with outed ministers, though forisfami- 
liate six months before, and living in another parish. 


jQmo. pij^ij^g^ without proportioning the sum with 
the fault. 11™°- Fining in whole parishes promiscu- 
ously, as well those that lived orderly as those that 
did not. 12'"°- Fining whole parishes where there 
was no incumbent minister. IS*'"- Fining one that 
lay a year bedfast. 14*°- Forcing bonds from the 
innocent. 15'°- Cessing people who were not fined. 
16^"' Taking away cattle. All those actings are 
illegal." 1 

Harassments and oppressions such as these at last 
drove the people of the west to insurrection. The 
physiology of the origin and growth of a mob or an 
insurrectionary movement is not easily obtained, and 
valuable when it is. We owe it to the researches 
of the historian of the suiferings that we have an 
account of the germ and growth of this affair, which 
has a strong appearance of truth : " Upon Tuesday, 
November 13th, 1666, four countrymen, after great 
hardships and long fasting, in their wanderings came 
to the small country village of Dairy, in Galloway, 
to get a little refreshment. Upon the highway a little 
from that place they accidentally met with three or 
four soldiers driving before them a company of people, 
neighbours to a poor old man in that place who had 
fled from his own house himself" The object for 
which the soldiers were driving the people was " in 
order to oblige them to thrash out the poor man's 
corns, that of them they might make money to satisfy 
for his Church fines, as they were now termed. This 
troubled the four honest men very much, yet they 
passed by the soldiers and came to the house they 
designed." While taking their refreshment there, 

^ "Wodrow's Sufferings, i. 102. 

INSURRECTION, 1665-66. 449 

some one ran to tell tliem that the old man himself 
was caught, and that the soldiers were going to torture 
or ill-use him. The four " honest men " went to the 
spot. There was arguing and at last a scuffle, in 
which one of the "honest men" fired a pistol and 
wounded a soldier. " This quickly made the rest 
yield, and the countrymen disarmed them and made 
them prisoners, and the poor old man is happily de- 
livered." Taking consultation on their position, the 
four " honest men " took the view — probably correct 
— that there was no chance for life if they were 
taken, " and therefore resolve to go through with it, 
and stand to their own defence the best way they 
might." There were twelve soldiers at a post near 
by. Having got a few neighbours to join them, they 
seized these twelve. They had now done something 
to be heard of over the country. Sir James Turner 
was posted at Dumfries. The question now lay 
between taking him or being taken by him. A coun- 
try gentleman, the Laird of Bascube, threw in his lot 
with them. The little group enlarged, and when there 
were fifty horsemen and a considerable party of un- 
mounted peasants it was determined to seize Sir 
James. This was accomplished easily. It would 
appear that he had in his possession a considerable sum 
of money collected as fines or cess. It is uncertain 
what became of this store ; but as it is difficult to 
see how the rapidly gathering body of insurgents 
could have been victualled without it, we must sup- 
pose that they took it for public purposes. 

They increased rapidly, and it is even said that 
their numbers rose to three thousand. They conceived 
the bold notion of marching to Edinburgh, and came 
VOL. VII. 2 F 


within five miles of the city, where they caused much 
consternation and rapid preparations for defence. 
Tliey seem to have expected recruits on the east coast, 
who did not join them. It is observable that their 
march lay through mountain and moorland, with 
rare patches of vegetation all the way. When they 
left the Lanarkshire hills, a dreary flat moss lay 
before them. When they had traversed this and 
ascended the western shoulder of the Pentland Hills, 
they must have seen a prospect new and dispiriting. 
The Lothian s — the richest and most fruitful part of 
Scotland — spread before them ; while up from the gar- 
dens and fields rose the town of Edinburgh, crowned 
by its castle. This sight seems to have realised to them 
their helplessness. It was the middle of November, 
too, and they had sufi"ered from cold, while provisions 
failed them. They found that there was nothing for 
it but to return westward, and they crossed by House 
of Muir to Rullion Green, on the southern side of the 
hill. By this time their numbers had rapidly thinned : 
it is supposed that they counted about nine hundred. 
They were in wretched condition, with some horses in 
still worse state. Their leader. Colonel Wallace, ap- 
pears to have been a good soldier, and to have done the 
best that could be done for his poor followers. EuUion 
Green is the name given to the southern end of a 
valley dividing the Pentland range and forming a 
natural pass through it, conspicuous as a feature of 
the range. Here AVallace posted his people on a ridge 
of hill. General Thomas Dalziel, who had gone as far 
westward as Lanark to intercept them, found them 
here at last. He drew his troops through the pass, and 
found the peasantry so well posted that it was not an 

BATTLE OF PENTLAND, 1 666. 45 1 

affair of a moment to sweep them before his disciplined 
troops. At the point first approached a cleft lay be- 
tween them and him. We are told that two attacks 
by detachments on the post were failm-es, and that the 
general required to bring his whole force cautiously to 
the ridge where the peasantry were posted before he 
could break and disperse them.^ It had become dark 
when this was accomplished, and thus there were few of 
the Covenanters killed in the retreat. Some things fol- 
lowing on this affair are significant of the condition of 
religious parties at that time — conditions afterwards 
changed. It will be remembered that in 1637 Edin- 
burgh was the centre of Covenanting ardour and 
energy. Yet these " wild western Whigs " were so 
offensive to the moderate people of the Lothians, that 
we hear of more sufferings to the remnant of their 
army from the peasantry around the place of their 
defeat, than from the victorious enemy, cruel as their 
general was reputed to be. 

The natural result of this affair was to strengthen 
the hands of the Government, by giving them reason 
on their side. It contributed to increase that source 
of power in which they were chiefly deficient — the 
source generally called the " moral influence." It 
might be said that the insurgents were a miserable 
rabble, driven by religious delusion and cruel treat- 
ment to their fate ; but the external character of the 
act was, that they had marched as an army across 
the country, and that they had threatened and 

^ The site of the battle is supposed to be marked by a monumental 
stone. Neither the spot itself, however, nor any part of the range of 
the Pentlands close to it, corresponds with the description of the gTound 
taken by Wallace— a ridge running north and south, and rising abruptly 
on the north end. 


thoroughly frightened the capitah Then if men 
commit themselves to an armed contest with the 
Government, they cast their lot for victory or martyr- 
dom, and must stand their fate ; and it is part of this 
fate that it brings ruin on others as well as themselves. 
The Government was not the same that had organised 
the system of oppression in the west, but the system 
remained while the soldiers and their commanders 
were there. They had now got a large increase to 
the licence of their conduct. It had been peace and 
was now war. They could plead they were in an 
enemy's country, where the distinction between those 
in arms and those peaceably disposed was too nice 
to be drawn by a rough soldier. The commander 
of these troops was the victor at Pentland, Thomas 
Dalziel of Binns. He had served abroad ; and of all 
the foreign adventurers who had brought evil ways 
from foreign institutions and practices, he had brought 
home the largest stock of ferocity and raj)acity. 
Others liad chiefly served in the centre of Europe and 
in the Thirty Years' War. They learned enough of 
evil there ; but Dalziel had been doing the work of the 
barbarous Muscovite far off' at the back of Europe. 
Of the nature of that work there was only the general 
notion that it brought the skill of civilised Europe to 
aid in perpetrating the cruelties and brutalities of the 
Calmuc. Dalziel was taunted with his foreign service, 
and could return the taunts in his own way. At the 
council - table he struck a man under examina- 
tion on the teeth with the hilt of his sword so as 
to draw blood. He had provocation enough — he had 
been called " a Muscovy beast who roasted men." It 
did not make him more merciful that he was an 


honest and ardent fanatic for royalty. Of this he 
carried about a perpetual sign in a beard which had 
grown since the death of his beloved master Charles I.-^ 

^ Mr Kirkpatrick Sharpe, in his notes to Kirkton's History, gives 
this account of Dalziel : — 

" The Czar of Muscovy, Alexis Michaelovitch, under whose hanner he 
fought courageously against the Turks and Tartars, for his great bravery 
and military conduct, promoted him to the rank of general, and on his 
return to Scotland ordered a testimony of his services, in the most 
honourable terms, to pass the great seal. ' He was bred up very hardy 
from his youth,' says Captain Creichton, ' both in diet and clothing. 
He never wore boots, nor above ane coat, which fl-as close to his body, 
with close sleeves, like those we call jockey-coats. He never wore a 
peruke, nor did he shave his beard since the murder of King Charles I. 
In my time his head was bald, which he covered only with a beaver 
hat, the brim of which was not above three inches broad. His beard 
was white and bushy, and yet reached down almost to his girdle. He 
usually went to London once or twice a-year, and then only to kiss the 
king's hand, who had a great esteem for his worth and valour. His 
unusual dress and figure, when he was in London, never failed to draw 
after him a great crowd of boys and other young people, who con- 
stantly attended at his lodgings, and followed him with huzzas as he 
went to Court or returned from it. As he was a man of humour, he 
would always thank them for their civilities when he left them at the 
door to go into the king, and wovrld let them know exactly at what hour 
he intended to come out again and return to his lodgings. When the 
king walked in the park, attended by some of his courtiers, and Dalziel 
in his company, the same crowds would always be after him, showing 
their admiration of his beard and dress, so that the king could hardly 
pass on for the crowd ; upon which his majesty bid the devil take 
Dalziel for bringing such a rabble of boys together, to have their guts 
squeezed out, while they gaped at his long beard and antic habit, re- 
questing him at the same time (as Dalziel used to express it) to shave 
and dress like other Christians, to keep the poor bairns out of danger. 
All this could never prevail on him to part with his beard ; but yet, in 
compliance to his majesty, he went once to Court in the very height of 
the fashion ; but as soon as the king and those about him had laughed 
sufficiently at the strange figure he made, he reassumed his usual habit, 
to the great joy of the boys, who had not discovered him in his fashion- 
able dress.' " On closing this quotation from the Memoirs of a Cavalier, 
the editor of Kirkton continues : " The accusation of being a witch Dal- 
ziel shared with almost all the active loyalists of his time, whom, however, 
if we can trust the author of ' God's Judgments,' he so far exceeded in 
'devilish sophistry that he sometim es beguiled the devil, or rather his mas- 
ter suffered himself to be outwitted by him.' "—Kirkton's History, 226, 227. 


The trials tliat followed the affair of Pentland Hills 
were the first to become infamous by the free use of 
torture. The question or torture had been in use both 
in Enofland and Scotland, but in both countries it 
was very odious. Two instruments were chiefly in 
use in Scotland — one was the boot, an iron cylinder 
in which the leg was placed, the infliction being by 
the hammering in of wooden wedges to the required 
point of injury and suffering. The other was the 
thumbkin, Avhich held the thumb tight while thin 
screws were run into the joint — an ingenious device 
for producing the greatest amount of suffering with 
the smallest instrument and the least labour. 

The criminal courts were overworked Avith the busi- 
ness now brought into them. Part of it was drawn 
off by the appointment of a separate justiciary in the 
west. The pressure suggested a method of facilitat- 
ing business, taken from the precedent set by the 
Estates when they convicted Warriston in his absence. 
There seems to be something infectious in any relaxa- 
tion of rigid forms by courts of law, especially in the 
administration of criminal justice. The supreme 
legislature both in England and Scotland claimed 
the privilege to be above restraints. The grand testi- 
mony to this was the power of impeachment, where it 
was not, as in the humbler courts of law, that the 
charge to be tried must infer a breach of established 
law. In the impeachment the law and its application 
might be voted together. There must be somewhere 
a power to strike the public enemy, who may be all 
the more dangerous that the ordinary laws do not 
reach him — and that power exists in the supreme court 
of Parliament. All this was fully examined and 

PUNISHMENTS, 1666. 455 

settled in the impeacliinent of Strafford. The Scots 
Estates went a step further, and found that they could 
try and convict a man who was not present to defend 
himself. The Court of Justiciary, overwhelmed with 
business, found that it would be convenient to follow 
this precedent : it would facilitate conviction, and so 
abbreviate proceedings — the persons condemned, if 
afterwards caught, could be punished without further 
ceremony. The court professed to deliberate care- 
fully before adopting this alternative. They consulted 
their brethren of the Court of Session, who gave them 
encouragement and support. The plan was adopted ; 
but fortunately it became rather a beacon to be 
avoided than a precedent to be followed. 

Some twenty men were hanged in Edinburgh, and 
many in other places. The authorities were becoming 
tired of their cruel work, while yet there was a crowd 
of prisoners to be disposed of. Some were shipped off 
to the plantations ; others released on finding security 
for their conduct. A relenting or a more cautious 
and considerate spirit had found its way into the 
administration. Scotland was affected at that junc- 
ture by English politics. The Court was disheartened 
by the disgraces of the war with Holland, and the 
Prelatic party in Scotland lost a friend in the fall of 
Clarendon. It was found at last to be fitting that the 
army of the west should be withdrawn. Perhaps the 
difficulty of finding means for its support may have 
had more to do with this result than any other motive. 

When the soldier was removed the assistance of the 
lawyer was required. It was asked whether some 
self-acting organisation could be devised for keeping 
order among the Eemonstrant Covenanters in the west, 


aud the lawj'ers said tliey had found such a plan m 
the project known as "the bonds of lawburrows." 
We have already seen on several occasions how it 
crops out as a peculiarity in the history of Scotland, 
that such battles as are elsewhere fought out between 
conflicting prerogatives, or "prerogative and privi- 
lege," have been tried as questions between one man 
and another in the courts of law. Much of the har- 
assing of the west country was now done in this way : 
From Dalziel downwards through a crowd of rapacious 
officers of the local courts, men held gifts of forfeitures 
or of fines which it was their interest to exact by 
form of law. It was a sort of licence to pillage the 
enemy in the courts of law. These things took their 
course according to settled precedent, but the device 
of the bonds of lawburrows was so far beyond them 
as to be a work of genius. The term is from the old 
Saxon word, which means surety — when one became 
bail for another, he was his surety, burrow, or broch.^ 
The bond of lawburrows is of everyday practice in 
Scotland. If one can shoM^ that he has been threat- 
ened with violence by one likely to follow up his 
threat, a court of law will protect him by requiring 
the threatener to find security for his peaceable con- 
duct or go to prison. It is the process that in Eng- 
land is called finding security to keep the peace. By 
the bonds of lawburrows, then, the Crown bound over 
the subject to keep the peace. The project was 
effected by an Act of the Privy Council. The country 
Avas divided into districts, for each of which certain 
men of local position Avere named as commissioners. 
They were to take bonds for keeping the peace from 

' See above, chap. xvii. 

INDULGENCE, 1669. 457 

each landholder in each district. The landholder in 
his turn was to exact a bond from each of his vassals 
or tenants. In each instance, if the bond were broken 
in a breach of the peace, a penalty became due ; but 
the character of these penalties could only be shown 
through much technical detail. When the arrange- 
ment, as devised in the Privy Council, came into 
practical effect, a new question arose, which also had 
to be settled by technical law. The bond on its face 
only held those who signed it to be orderly and obey 
the laws. Did this infer that they were bound over 
to the new Prelatical hierarchy, and that they were 
to abjure the Covenant 1 To clear this difficulty the 
old form of the protestation again came in use. The 
persons who signed the bonds protested that they 
were not held bound by them to the support of Pre- 
lacy or the abjuration of the Covenant ; and there is 
so much evidence of the intention of those who took 
the bonds so to accept the obligation that a form for 
doing so has been preserved.-^ The lawburrows were 
renewed with more formality after the disbanding of 
the Highland host to be presently brought up. 

We now find a curious wavering between tolerance 
and intolerance. What is called "the first indul- 
gence" was issued from Whitehall in June 1669, on 
the sign-manual, countersigned by Lauderdale, and 
addressed to the Scots Privy Council. It began with 
something resembling a censure on the past : "Whereas 
by the Act of Council and proclamation at Glasgow in 
the year 1662 a considerable number of ministers were 
at once turned out, and so debarred from preaching of 
the Gospel and exercise of the ministry." The Councd 

1 See Wodrow, ii. 94, 95. 


were tlierefore authorised " to appoint so many of the 
outed ministers as have lived peaceably and orderly 
in the places Avhere they have resided, to return and 
preach and exercise other functions of their ministry 
in the parish churches where they formerly resided 
and served, provided they be vacant." They were 
not to have the stipend — only the manse and glebe. 
The Council were to collect the stipend, and when 
they issued a licence of indulgence, to allow the in- 
dulged minister a yearly " maintenance " out of the 
stipend. In the warrant for the indulgence there was 
so much consideration for the " outed" ministers, that 
instruction was given to find maintenance for those 
whose places had been filled. This " indulgence " has 
to be interpreted, by whoever can make the interpre- 
tation, with an Act of the Estates passed little more 
than a year afterwards, called an " Act against con- 
venticles." It lays heavy penalties on all concerned 
in " conventicles," or in any arrangements for worship 
according to the Presbyterian form unless through the 
indulgence. A climax is reached in the clause, "that 
whosoever, without licence or authority foresaid, shall 
preach, expound Scripture, or pray at any of these 
meetings in the field, or in any house where there be 
more persons than the house contains, so as some of 
them be without doors — which is hereby declared to 
be a field conventicle — or who shall convocate any 
number of people to these meetings, shall be punished 
with death and confiscation of their goods." 

Many of the ejected ministers took the indulgence 
as an announcement that the Government wished to 
find a decorous exit from its position, and trusted to 
the sensible portion of them for help. They took 

LAUDERDALE, 1663-80. 459 

what was offered, hoping for a final restoration to all 
their privileges and emoluments as parish ministers. 
To the many who felt with the seceders, and had been 
tossed by doubts whether they should remain or go 
forth, the indulgence was an undoubted blessing, by 
reconciling them to their position. 

The indulgence was from time to time revised and 
enlarged ; and if one should give the history of the 
" indulged " Church without looking around, he might 
describe a moderate, serious, comfortable community 
living at peace with all men, and Avorshipping God 
after their own fashion. But the policy which Lau- 
derdale's Government rather seemed to drift towards 
than deliberately adopt, was that of balancing every 
act of mercy and grace to those who accepted the 
conditions set down, with additional machinery of 
repression and cruelty directed against recusants. 

Rothes and Lauderdale were rewarded each with a 
dukedom for his services. It made no change on the 
governing influence that in 1669 Lauderdale was 
made Lord High Commissioner. This strano-e man was 
a scholar and a great reader, with a full command of 
the intellectual stores thus at his disposal. But both in 
the spirit and the flesh he was an uncouth and unlov- 
able figure. A Covenanter, he could scatter profane 
jests, and lived a profligate life. His figure was large 
and full, with a broad bloated face. Its unmistak- 
able sensuality was relieved by touches of the ferocious 
and the sarcastic. His wife was nearly as conspicu- 
ous a figure as himself. She was Countess of Dysart in 
her own right — the daughter of that Murray of the bed- 
chamber who had acted the spy to the Covenanters. 
She was a pupil of the moral school of Lady Castle- 


maine and the Duclaess of Portsmoutla ; and marvellous 
stories are told of her extravagance and rapacity, with 
the influence exercised by her on the fines and forfeit- 
ures of the jjeriod. The polished profligacy of Louis 
XIV. 's Court was vulgarised when it passed on to 
St James's ; but when it migrated to Holyrood, its 
contact with the rough way of the Scots made it more 
hideous still. There have been many attempts — none 
of them quite successful — to solve the problem of this 
statesman's conscience and intentions. Burnet would 
make it a subtle policy, but distinct : " I thought he 
was acting the Earl of Traquair's part, giving way to 
all the follies of the bishops on design to ruin them. 
He upon that ran out into a great deal of freedom 
with me, and told me many passages of Sharp's past 
life. He was persuaded he would ruin all ; but he said 
he was resolved to give him line, for he had not 
credit enough to stop him, nor would he oppose any- 
thing that he pro^Dosed unless it were very extrava- 
gant. He saw that the Earl of Glencairn and he 
would be in perpetual war, and it was indifi'erent to 
him how matters might go between them ; things 
would run to a height, and then the king would put 
a stop to their career, for the king said he was not 

There is another possible theory of his policy, and 
if it be otherwise tenable, it will be found to fit 
neatly into and explain some points in the letters of 
his coadjutor or accomplice Sharp, when he talks of 
the king's will as the supreme rule of his conduct and 
his adherence to the guidance of Lauderdale. Was it 
that Lauderdale thought the fervent and intolerant 
spirit of loyalty possessing the nation at the Eestora- 

LAUDERDALE, 1663-80. 461 

tion might be turned to a purpose, and that on its 
wings he might sweep into any absolute authority he 
might choose to wield in the king's name 1 The 
method by Avhich, as a Presbyterian and a Cove- 
nanter, he could do so, would be by setting the king's 
will above the Covenant and everything else. We 
have seen him already, in something like a spirit of 
exultation, following the king in an act called by him- 
self " positively illegal." It is possible in his corre- 
spondence to find that his Presbyterianism will not 
stand in the way when loyalty may be pleaded for 
taking another direction. On the 13th of July 1663 he 
is attending the Estates, and writes to the king. He 
approaches a story he has to tell with a sketch of the 
pleasm-es of a mind at ease : " A good master, a good 
conscience, and a clear above-board conduct in your 
service, does abundantly secure and quiet me against all 
base whisperings." He had been working through the 
Estates the completion of the new polity — the " Act 
against reparation and disobedience to ecclesiastical 
authority." His enemies had been scattering foul 
rumours that his old affection for the Covenant would 
damp the zeal of his loyalty. That " calumny of 
my opposition to your declared pleasure in Church 
government did stick Avith divers ; so that I thought 
it fit for me, and in some measure necessary for your 
service, that I should make once a public declaration. 
I choosed this as the first and most natural occasion 
for it. So after I had endeavoured in debate to clear 
all that was objected against this Act, before it 
went to a vote I rose up and told the Parliament, 
that seeing your commands had kept me from 
concurring in these good laws made in the former 


session of Parliament — for your majesty had com- 
manded my attendance in London— I thouglit it my 
duty not to rest satisfied with giving a bare ' ay ' to 
this Act, which ratifies the former Acts relating to the 
Church. Then I repeated shortly all the Acts passed 
for your prerogative, for restoring the Church, and 
particularly the Act Eescissory, and declared my 
hearty consent to them all. In the next place, I took 
notice of that part of the Act wherein your majesty's 
care is held forth to preserve Church government as 
now it is settled by law. And because I had the 
happiness to have more with you on that subject, and 
to have heard very often from yourself how much you 
are concerned in this settlement of the Church, I 
thought it my duty to declare, not only to the Parlia- 
ment, but, as far as I was able, to the whole kingdom, 
that these expressions of the Act relating to your 
majesty are not matters of form, but that you do 
and will concern yourself as much in preserving this 
government in the Church as in any other prerogative 
of your crown. I touched gently what reason you 
had so to do from former miscarriages ; and having, 
as fully as I was able, expressed your majesty's zeal 
in this particular, I told the Parliament I needed no 
other argument to convince them of my hearty con- 
currence in and obedience to those laws than that it 
was your so express pleasure ; for as I counted it my 
greatest honour to be your servant, and as I had in 
everything carried myself as a servant, and faithful 
servant — notwithstanding of what had been said to 
the contrary — so in this and everything else I was re- 
solved to serve you faithfully in your own way. Then 
I earnestly urged the great obligations this kingdom 

LAUDERDALE, 1663-80. 463 

owed to your majesty; for had you not by your 
glorious restoration redeemed them from the basest 
slavery, and restored them to their liberties, their 
ancient government, and their laws, but also put the 
greatest mark of confidence on them by removing of 
the English garrisons ? And as this was an eminent 
mark of your own goodness against much opposition, 
so I pressed it to be the duty of this kingdom, both 
as good subjects and good Scotsmen, to witness their 
obedience to your majesty in Church matters, in which 
you do so much concern yourself. In the last place, 
I told the Parliament that the first thing I did in this 
Parliament was the subscribino- the declaration con- 
cerning the Covenant. That though I thought not fit 
to say anything then, but to sign it cheerfully, so noAV 
I thought it my duty to make known that I knew well 
what I signed. The first part of that declaration, the 
affirming the unlawfulness of taking arms against the 
king, had lain heaviest on me when 1 thought myself 
nearest to giving my great account. So having con- 
fessed it, and craved pardon of it from God and from 
the king, I thought it my duty here also to confess it. 
And to the second part, I declared myself clearly con- 
cerning the unlawfulness of the Covenants, and of the 
petitions, protestations, and councils in pursuance of 
it; and therefore I need not enlarge that from these 
oaths no obligation lies to endeavouring alterations of 
the settled form of government. But this, I said, is 
only a negative. It is my duty to go farther; and for 
a conclusion I declared it to be my duty not only not 
to oppose but to maintain and defend those laws, and 
heartily concur in prosecution of them. This is a 
short and true account of what was spoke. If I had 


a copy I should send it, but truly I have no time to 
make set speeches ; on this subject my heart was 
so full that I could not fail in speaking, nor now in 
repeating the sense of what I spoke. And I did it so 
freely and so clearly that all the bishops came in 
a body to give solemn thanks. And as the trust 
your majesty was pleased to repose in me in this 
particular obliged me to this declaration, so now to 
give generally this hasty account of it — one thing I am 
sure I have got by it, that I have rooted out any con- 
fidence that any other party could have in me; and if 
any shall hereafter slander me as an opposer of bishops, 
they must at the same time declare me a very fool." 

In his confidential communings with Sir Eobert Mur- 
ray, his representative in London, he gives his reason 
for the earnestness of these protestations. He mentions 
how, through Middleton's influence, it had been put 
into people's heads that he was " disaffected to the 
Church government establishment," and opposed to 
those who had been sufferers for the king's father. In 
referring to the final measure for the settlement of the 
Church, he says an expressive word about a feature in 
it that might possibly give displeasure to some at 
Court : " You will see the penalties calculated for our 
western dissenters (though the word Papist be put 
in, of course, to bear them company), and it is hoped 
the penalties will be stronger arguments to move them 
to outward conformity than any divines could use." 

Lauderdale, when he had got his power well con- 
solidated, set himself to sketch a scheme of govern- 
ment, the leading feature in which was to rid the king 
of that troublesome body the Estates. He says to 
Sir Eobert Murray : " You shall humbly present it for 

LAUDERDALE, 1663-80. 465 

his majesty's consideration, how fit it is that when 
public business are despatched — which it is hoped may 
be ready soon after the return of this express — that 
this Parliament be concluded and dissolved, and that 
this kingxlom return to the good old form of govern- 
ment by his majesty's Privy Council." ^ 

There are several reasons given at length for this 
bold suggestion : " Long Parliaments are more unfit 
for Scotland than for any other place, for public busi- 
ness being done. They can only serve here for creat- 
ing division by carrying on pi'ivate interests." They 
are costly to the members, but " the most heavy- 
burden lies on the king." But the end of all is a 
happy prospect, whatever direction the eye may take : 
" For if the king's service should require a Parliament, 
there is no manner of doubt but the next Parliament 
would be as entirely at his majesty's devotion as he 
can desire. For the lords spiritual and temporal are 
the same, and they sitting in the same House, the king 
knows what influence they have. Besides, the power 
which the officers of State and noblemen have in 
election of commissioners for shires and boroughs 
may secure his majesty of the new elections, especially 
seeing the declaration concerning the Covenant keeps 
out those who are averse to the Church government 
established. And the great consideration which puts 
it past all apprehension of danger is, that not only 
hath the king in Scotland his negative vote, but, God 
be thanked, by this constitution of the Articles, hath 
the affirmative vote also. For nothing can come to 
Parliament but through the Articles, and nothing can 

^ After the Eestoration we find the general use of tlie term " Privy 
Council" substituted for "Secret Council." 



pass in Articles but what is warranted by his majesty, 
so that the king is absolute master in Parliament 
both of the negative and affirmative." ^ 

Yet even to so obsequious a body as this it was 
better not to commit the government of the realm. 
The mischievous laws had been swept from the statute- 
book, and the power of the Crown and the hierarchy 
had been finally settled. The one great necessity 
which drove unwilling sovereigns to trust themselves 
in the hands of Parliament was happily removed from 
Scotland. In the full tide of their loyalty the Estates 
had endowed the Crown with a permanent revenue of 
forty thousand pounds a-year of sterling money — a 
large revenue to be paid by Scotland in that day. 

Personally Lauderdale is found true to his new creed 
in politics. Implicit obedience is the key-note of the 
traces left on his personal conduct. He not only will 
not disobey, but he will not thwart or harass by 
persuasions. The king's will is a tower of strength 
against all assaults. When besought to say a word 
for his old leader Warriston, he would not venture to 
molest the king on the matter — nor would he permit 
any others to do so. Never was Eastern despot blessed 
with a minister of his will more obedient, docile, and 
sedulous. If we are to find a political philosophy 
in the man's past and present, it comes to this : In 
the natural man he was the Presbyterian — the enemy 
of Prelacy ^the champion of the Covenant. But the 
king wills it otherwise, and the king's will be done. 
It is evident that for the easy working of such a phi- 
losophy much depends on the character of the king 
to be set up as its idol. With a man of business and 

' These extracts are from tlie Lauderdale Papers. 

UNION PROJECT, 1667-70. 467 

thorough knowledge of affairs like Louis XIV., it in- 
ferred hard and sometimes disagreeable work. With 
an indolent, easy man like Charles IL, the task was 
easier and pleasanter, and the servant could often 
divine the nature of the command before the master 
himself knew it. Accidents of various kinds favoured 
Lauderdale and his follower Rothes in the absolute 
disposal of the king's inclinations. They were both 
instrumental in an affair of much personal interest to 
their master — the marriage of his son Monmouth to 
the heiress of the house of Buccleuch. She was niece 
to Rothes, and the adjustment of the business con- 
nected with the alliance brought both him and Laud- 
erdale in personal communings of great length with 
the king. 

Before we embark again on the great sea of religi- 
ous troubles, it has to be told that from 1667 to 1670 
two commissions were professedly occupied in endeav- 
ouring to adjust an incorporating union between 
England and Scotland. The matter is of less moment 
for anything actually transacted than for the spirit 
in which the question was raised. It came from the 
bitter representations on the part of the Scots of the 
ruin of their commerce by the English Navigation 
Act. They represent that they had " enjoyed a free- 
trade here in England, and in all the dominions and 
plantations belonging to the kingdom of England, 
more than fifty-and-six years, without any consider- 
able obstructions all that time." But now they are 
treated as aliens and enemies, and even the inhabit- 
ants of Ireland have privileges denied to those of his 
majesty's ancient kingdom.^ This was the first symp- 

1 Brace's Report, Appendix No. .'cxxi. ; Mackenzie's Memoirs, 137 et seq. 


torn of that national discontent wliicli, raised not out of 
political or religious differences, but on tlie solid founda- 
tion of pecuniary claims and losses, grew in strength 
until it brought, as a political necessity, the final union. 

We return to the indulgence, only to find that a 
disease had been wrought into the public mind far too 
deep and rancorous to be cured either by palliatives or 
stimulants. The small insignificant party that had 
come together in the west at the Mauchline Testi- 
mony, became the centre of a great community, who 
drew off absolutely, not only from the Prelatic party, 
but from the indulged Presbyterians. On these, in- 
deed, they looked with more disdain and hatred than 
on their natural enemies. They were deserters pro- 
fessing to be within the camp. The indulgence was 
a treacherous snare, and these brethren, both weak 
and wicked, had fallen into it. These extreme men 
would acknowledge no brotherhood with any who did 
not go their own way. We may count them un- 
reasonable, but their conduct was a fact — the Govern- 
ment had made it, and had now to deal with it. 

When the indulgence was at its best in 1676, it 
was accompanied by a new writ of harassment, called 
"Letters of Intercommuning." The term does not 
explain itself, for the writ prohibited intercommuning, 
or holding intercourse with persons who had broken 
the laws against conventicles. This, like many other 
Acts of the period, was a usurpation by the executive 
of the powers proper to the Legislature. In earlier 
reigns the Estates would not have permitted the 
Secret Council to take such work out of their hands. 
There were old laws against " intercommuning " with 
English enemies. By an Act passed immediately after 


the deposition of Queen Mary, for the purpose of sup- 
pressing "the theft, reif, and oppression " committed 
on the Border " by thieves, traitors, and otlier ungodly 
persons," and finding that they are materially sup- 
ported " in their troubles by resetters, fortifiers, and 
maintainers," — all such " intercommuning " with them 
is counted as accession to their crimes, and so pun- 
ished. Any act of Christian charity — clothing the 
naked, feeding the starving, hiding the pursued — 
was an " intercommuning." Spalding briefly describes 
Highland reivers under letters of intercommuning : 
"As they were lawless, so made friendless, and might 
not bide together." A proclamation of intercom- 
muning against the Earl of Argyle Avhen under charge 
of treason, renders it accession to his crime " to furnish 
him meat, drink, house, harbouring, or any other thing 
necessary or comfortable to him." Such were the pre- 
cedents about "intercommuning." Heavy penalties 
were laid on the intereommuners with the conventi- 
clers, and tempting rewards were offered to informers 
against them.^ 

Two years after the proclamation agaiust inter- 
eommuners — in 1678 — there occurs a curious diver- 
sion from the ordinary gloomy tenor of the harassing 
laws. We have already seen that a scandal attached 
to the employment in warfare of the Highlanders and 
the Irish as persons who would not adopt, and in- 
deed could not understand, the courtesies of war. 
In the celebrated " Highland host " the Government 
added a scandal in this shape to the many rated 

1 The proclamation itself will be found in Wodrow, ii. 318. The 
statute cited is in the Scots Acts, iii. 31. The other passages cited will 
be found, along with much instructive matter, under the head " Inter- 
communing," in Jamieson's Dictionary and its Supplement. 


against them. The landed gentry of the counties of 
Ayr and Renfrew had been desired by the Council to 
take measures for the suppression of conventicles and 
other " insolencies " in their respective counties. They 
made answer that they found it " not within the com- 
pass of their power " to do as they were desired, and 
they recommended a toleration of the Presbyterians 
as the best means of pacifying the districts. The 
reply to this virtually was, that since they could not 
keep order, others should be found to keep it for them. 
An Irish force was collected at Belfast, and an English 
force was brought to the Border. It was found, how- 
ever, that the Highlanders Avere sufficient for the 
purpose without these auxiliaries. The district to 
be infested by them was extended beyond the two 
counties ; and besides powers more conformable to the 
usual authorities for enforcing the laws, they Avere 
"to take effectual course for reducing them to due 
obedience," " by taking free quarters from those who 
are disaffected, and by disarming all you shall find 
necessary, and securing all horses above such a value 
as ye shall think fit." This was in the instruction to 
the Privy Council, and it was reiterated in the com- 
missions to the heads of clans, who are to march 
" wherever they shall be ordered ; on which march 
we hereby authorise them to take free quarter, accord- 
ing as our Privy Council and their committee shall 
think fit to order, and if need be to seize on horses 
for carrying their sick men, ammunition, and other 
provisions. And for their encouragement we hereby 
indemnify them against all pursuits, civil and crimi- 
nal, which may at any time hereafter be intended 
against them for anything they shall do in our ser- 


vice by killing, wounding, apprehending, or imprison- 
ing such as shall make opposition to our authority, or 
by seizing such as they have reason to suspect, the 
same being always done by the Privy Council, their 
committee, or of the superior officer." ^ 

With these powers there were assembled at Stirling 
what Wodrow terms " such a number of Highlanders 
■ — a barbarous, savage people, accustomed to rapine 
and spoil — as might overrun and depopulate the 
western shires."^ In Ayrshire the landed gentlemen 
remonstrated against the " sending among them so 
inhuman and barbarous a crew." They stated that 
the people were orderly and loyal ; but admitted that 
" albeit their people were indeed addicted to conven- 
ticles, and thought they had principle and solid reason 
for so being, yet this was only in those parishes which 
were denied the benefit of the indulgence." 

Fifeshire was at first included in the hunting-ground 
of the Highland host. There were in that county 
some very resolute Covenanters and haunters of con- 
venticles, but — at least among the gentry — they were 
in a minority. Meetings of the landowners were held, 
who resolved to come under any endurable obligation 
as an alternative of exemption from the operations 
of the Highland host. They offered to the Council a 
bond engaging to avoid conventicles and to restrain 
their tenants and other dependants from them. This 
did not suffice, however, without the addition of 
a clause that "we or they shall not reset, supply, 
or commune with forfeited persons, intercommuned 
ministers, or vagrant preachers, but do our utmost to 
apprehend their persons."^ Ou this the county of 

1 Wodrow, ii. 379. ' Ibid., 375. ^ n^jd.^ 332. 


Fife was exempt from tlie scourge. In the pro- 
claimed districts of the west all were to endure it who 
had not a sj)ecial protection from the Council, and 
such protection was only granted when a bond of the 
kind adopted in Fifeshire was taken. 

A body of gentlemen prepared to go to the Court in 
London, and there appeal or remonstrate against the 
outhounding of the Highland host. By an Act of 
Council, savouring of curiously perverse tyranny, they 
were prohibited from crossing the Border. The host 
of marauders so let loose has been estimated in num- 
bers varying from six to eight thousand. Looking 
back to the history of the Highlanders and Low- 
landers, and adjusting all it tells us with the ex- 
asperating conditions of the period, the result to be 
expected from such a contact of antagonistic elements 
would have been a bloody contest of extirpation ; but 
it was not so. Whatever was in the minds of the people 
of the west, they endured the infliction with wonder- 
ful equanimity. We only hear of one Highlander of 
the host killed by the country people. Among the 
Lowlanders they went to, there were some who, having 
obtained protections, were to be spared, and others 
who were at their mercy. It is said, however, that 
this was a distinction too nice for their comprehen- 
sion, and that they were so impartial in their maraud- 
ing that the best friends of the Government saw the 
necessity of becoming rid of them. 

Wodrow's account of their return homeward so 
naturally adjusts itself to the character and practice 
of the Highlander at that time that we can easily 
believe in it : " When the Highlanders went back, one 
would have thought they had been at the sacking of 


some besieged town by their baggage and luggage. 
They were loaded with spoil. They carried away a 
great many horses, and no small quantity of goods out 
of merchants' shops, whole webs of linen and Avoollen 
cloth, some silver plate bearing the names and arms 
of gentlemen. You would have seen them with loads 
of bed-clothes, carpets, men and women's wearing 
clothes, pots, pans, gridirons, shoes, and other furni- 
ture, whereof they had pillaged the country." ^ 

The tests and other exacted obligations of Con- 
formity in which this age was so prolific, are at first 
sight a curious object of study; but they become 
tiresome in their reiteration, and even in their varia- 
tions, since these were but the devices of cunning 
lawyers to rectify technical defects and tighten the 
chains set on freedom of opinion. When it was 
either necessary or expedient to defend these things 
by argument or example, this was ready at hand in 
the Covenant. Had not that document, with all its 
intricacies, been forced upon the people whether they 
believed in it or not — whether they ixnderstood it or 
not 1 That the Eestoration Government had taken 
a lesson from the Covenanters was so obvious that 
Wodrow had in some measure to admit it, along with 
a palliation not likely to pass current with all men, in 
saying : " It is not my province now to compare the 
matter of the one with the other here. The difference 
there is prodigiously great, there being evidently in 
the Covenants nothing but what was agreeable to the 
moral law, and what people were really bound to, 
whether they had sworn them or not."^ 

Apart, however, from questions of conscience and 

' Vol. ii. 413. " Ibid., 390. 


of justice, there was a mighty difference in the char- 
acter and amount of secular pressure administered by 
the two systems, arising out of a small and subtle 
difference. No man made money by tendering the 
Covenant. Temporal concerns did sometimes ally 
themselves with it, and we have seen that a social 
and pecuniary pressure might sometimes bear on its 
enemies. But the tests of the Ecformation Govern- 
ment were connected with a system of trade and 
revenue. The forfeitures and fines became so lucrative 
to those who laid hands on them, that the discovery 
of recusants was more desirable than the obtaining of 
Conformists. Thus, while the Covenant swept over 
like a popular storm, the bonding and testing system 
hounded out upon their neighbours an army of greedy 
informers and lawyers. The man who was worth 
harassing had set down at his door some keen and 
greedy man of office or of law, whose interest it was 
to keep him and his affairs in continued remembrance 
until the exaction of the last available coin. Even 
though not gifted away, as in many instances it was, 
the property realised by fines and forfeitures had a 
propensity to adhere to those concerned in their ex- 
action, though by law the property of the Crown. 
Occasionally it is seen that an available source of 
revenue is thus lost, and a general attack is made to 
compel the collectors to disburse their gains. System 
by degrees got possession of the field, superseding 
this general scramble ; and the penalties exacted from 
recusants became a revenue burdened with a heavy 
percentage to its collectors. 

A course of arbitrary action, leaving a stigma on 
this reign both in England and Scotland — a tamper- 


ing with the municipal corporations — appears in 
Scotland about tiie year 1678. It began with a vague 
bullying. Persons raust be selected who were loyal 
and acceptable to the Government, otherwise the 
town would suffer as a disaffected place. The inter- 
ference gradually increased.^ In England the device 
of the Quo Warranto — the inquiry into the original 
charter of constitution which could not be produced, 
or when produced was found defective — afforded a 
method of destruction both technical and efficacious. 
Under its powers Jeffreys, in the words of a contem- 
porary, "made all the charters like the walls of 
Jericho fall down before him, and returned laden 
with surrenders — the spoils of towns." ^ The Scots 
Grovernment could not see the Grown so effectually 
served in England without a sense of jealous rivalry ; 
and, not so fortunate in discovering a technical form 
of attack, fell upon the corporations by assault, declar- 
ing their selections of officers to be contrary to the 
will of the sovereign, and supj^lying others of their 
own choice. 

The only event of any moment in the secular pol- 
itics of this period arose out of an affair bringing 
scandal on Lauderdale, as tampering with the admin- 
istration of justice in the furtherance of his own per- 
sonal interests. There was a litigation in the Court of 
Session between the Lords Dunfermline and Callendar, 
and he had reasons for wishing the decision to be for 

^ As to some burgesses in the western towns who would not take the 
bond at the time of the Highland host, the Council report that they 
ordained them " to have their burgess-tickets cancelled and destroyed, 
debarring them from all trade and commerce, considering that such 
who would not receive your peace ought not to enjoy such large privi- 
leges by your free bounty."— Wodrow, iii. 414. 

2 North's E.xamen, 626. 


the Lord Dunfermline. When the case came on for 
jvidgment, he slipped into the court and sat on the 
bench. He was in law entitled to act and vote there, 
since he was an "extraordinary Lord of Session," a title 
conferred on certain persons of high rank, who were 
understood to wear it as a mere distinction, and were 
not expected to take in hand the drudgery of the 
ordinary btisiness of the court. It was further charged 
against Lauderdale, that he got the case brought up 
out of its proper order, and carried his point by drop- 
ping in his own vote and taking the court by surprise. 
The party defeated on the occasion made an appeal to 
Parliament. It was said that any reference from the 
Court of Session to the Estates of Parliament was 
illogical, because the court was created to do the 
judicial business of the country which had been done 
by the Estates at large. The Court of Session, thus 
representing the Estates, had their whole power, and a 
reference from the court to the Estates was logically 
equivalent to a reference from the Estates to them- 
selves. But it could be said that the Estates did their 
judicial business through committees.^ The Court of 
Session, therefore, only took up the powers of these 
committees, and the whole House could of course 
review the work either of the one or the other. But 
however the logic might be, Lockhart and Cuningham, 
the advocates for the appellants, were determined to 
put the case at the disposal of the Estates of Parlia- 
ment. For this they were suspended from the exercise 
of their profession. The suspension was taken as an 
injury and insult to the bar as a body, and they were 
joined by a secession of fifty members of the Faculty of 

^ See above, chap, xxxix. 


Advocates — a number that, if not the whole bar, must 
have been nearly so. The contest lasted for two years, 
ending in 1676. It brought forth some features of 
spirit and resolution in the Scottish bar of that period, 
but its end partook of the nature of a compromise.^ 

In many features it will be apparent that the 
troubles of this period ranked in heroic dignity far 
below those of the original Covenant. Then it was 
the old enemy of England, with Laud as represen- 
tative of the policy founded by Edward I. Now, 
thovigh the hierarchy and ecclesiastical institutions 
forced on Scotland were parallel to those of England, 
the national instinct devised that the selfish harass- 
ment and cruelty did not come from England — they 
were of home growth. Nay, all modifications and 
relaxations appeared to come from England. The 
culminating crime attributed by common repute to 
Sharp was the suppression of a warrant of mercy 
that had been sent from Whitehall. The people in 
Scotland felt it a natural thing that the English should 
look on Scotland as belonging to the same Episcopal 
hierarchy with themselves, and therefore the indul- 
gences were in some measure dealt with as a good- 
natured blunder, founded on the English ignorance of a 
nature that in religious matters was not content with 
toleration, but must have dominion, and that so 
absolute that toleration was not admitted with its 

The facility for continuing to do duty under the 
" indulgence," with the denunciation of death to those 
who ministered otherwise, was a challenge to some of 

1 The fullest accovmt of this aifair will be found in Sir George 
Mackenzie's Memoirs, p 267 et seq. 


the fiery spirits among llic wcsicni llcmonKtraiiks lo 
court martyrdom. On tlie otlier liaiid, tlioso cldr^y- 
men who wcni l'i'csl)ytcTians merely in doi'Irinc and 
form of worship, had notliiiig to al)aiidoii, wlicther tliey 
had submitted to Episcopal ('(jllation or were iiecepted 
in the indulo-cnce. No " Hervie,e-l)ook " was foreed on 
them; nothing was cxiieted that could exeusc tin; old 
terror of Popeiy and idolatry. Tliei(^ was no change 
in the form of service appointed by the Westminster 
Assembly's Directory. " Wc had no cerenioini'S, 
surplice, altars, cross in baptism, nor the meanest of 
those things which would be allowed in EngliMid by 
the Dissenters in way of aeeomniodation," is a rcanark 
by a Scots statesman of the diiy who disliked Uic 
Presbyterians.^ The author f)f this tells us, H])e;d<iiig 
of the church where he attoided : " 'Dn^ way of worshi]) 
in our church differed nothing from w)i;i,t the Presby- 
terians themselves practised, except only that we used 
the Doxology, the Lord's Prayer, and in baptism the 
Creed." For this the old " l!(jok of (iommon Order" 
was not required. It docs not appear that either this 
book or the English Pi-iiyer-book was at this time used 
in Scotland ; and thus we are driven to the antithesis, 
that the Covenanters of 1G38 had a liturgy, and th(! 
Episcopalians of Chailes II. 's reign h;i,d none. 

But in fact religion, whetliei- expr(%4S(;d in formular- 
ies or creeds, was not the object either of the Con if. or 
the hierarchy. In this, as in other tilings, the bitter 
contest disorganising the country was a sony contnist 
to the mighty ecclesiastical struggle which Ix^gan tin; 
civil war. We may object as wc will to Laud's re- 

' Sir OeoTge Mackenzie's Vimlication of King (.'linrles II.'s (iovcni- 
nient ; Works, ii. 343. 


ligious tendencies — we may sneev at his political 
projects as a wild dream which any statesman who 
knew the times would have laughed to scorn ; but still 
there was a grandeur in his mission. The pomps and 
ceremonies, the costly and a;org;eous decorations of the 
churches, the symbolical ritualism, were aU designed 
— thougli many will say they did not truly tend — to 
lift man above that which is of the earth earthy. But 
from its commander. Archbishop Sharp, dovra to the 
humblest parish ciu'ate, the present crusade was 
material and self-seekino-. "We have seen that it was 
the policy of the Government, and in some measure in 
conformity with the habit of the people as addicted to 
legal procedure, that inflictions for recusancy should 
be left to personal greed and spite. The newly-estab- 
lished parochial clergy were too conspicuously and 
activel}' engaged in this contest. It was to them that 
the civd. authorities chiefly trusted for authentic lists 
of recusants. Perhaps in rendering these they were 
incited by a strenuous zeal for their own Church ; but 
the occupation was an unseemly one for a spiritual 
pastor. Looking higher up, we find Sharp himself 
the hardest worker at the council-table, and generally 
claiming the right of presiding there. He had got back 
for the bishops the old power in the selection of the 
Committee on the Articles, which made the hierarchy 
lords of the Parliament. The bishops chose the eight 
lords temporal who were to sit on the Articles, these 
in their tm-n chose eight bishops, and the sixteen 
tooether chose eight lesser barons and eight burgesses. 
He was so indefatigable a meddler with every affair of 
ci^Tl o-overnment, that he became intoleitible to the 
civil ofiicers of the Crown, and at one time was directed 


by the king to abide within his diocese. The extent 
of hatred l^orne towards him by the people is not easily 
to be realised. It was mixed with fear, and this fear 
was of two kinds — the one was a material fear of the 
man's relentless nature, the other was a superstitious 
horror of him, as one who had made a compact with 
the spirit of evil. The historian of the sufferings heard 
stories about him which he did not venture to set 
forth in his History, though he felt so much interest in 
them as to consign them to his private note-book. He 
was, for instance, sitting in Council in Edinburgh, ar- 
ranging the articles of prosecution against the Pentland 
rebels, when he desired a paper left behind him in his 
cabinet at St Andrews. A messenger was sent for it, 
who left Edinburgh at ten of the morning and arrived 
at St Andrews at four in the afternoon. Entering 
the study where he was to find the paper, he saw the 
archbishop sitting there. Somewhat astonished and 
frightened, he ran down-stairs and asked the chamber- 
lain when and how his grace had come. He had not 
come — he was in Edinburgh still. " So they come both 
up-stairs ; but before they were fully up they both 
saw the bishop standing upon the stair-head, staring 
upon them with an angry look, which affrighted them 
in earnest." When the messenger returned with the 
paper, he found the archbishop as he had left him. 
We are told how, presiding at a witch-trial, he was 
confounded and showed symptoms of terror when the 
victim asked him who was with him in his closet "on 
Saturday night last betwixt twelve and one o'clock 1 " 
He confessed to Eothes, who was inquisitive on the 
matter, that it was " the muckle black devil." ^ 

' Wodrow Aualecta, i. 104, 105. 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1663-79. 481 

With all Ills faults one cannot help admiring the 
courage and resolution of the man. He stood alone 
in the midst of all this hatred; for his coadjutors were 
beginning to feel that the land was troubled, and they 
exposed to labours and perils, all for the advancement 
of this ambitious priest. He was already Judas to his 
enemies, and it seemed to be in question whether he 
was to be dealt wdth as a Jonah by his allies. In the 
summer of 1 6 6 8 a man had fired at him as he stepped 
from his coach in the High Street, but missing him, 
shattered the arm of the Bishop of Orkney. 

Few of the citizens of Edinburgh belonged to that 
fierce class of fanatics to be found abundantly in the 
west, and in some measure in Fifeshire. When these 
were brought as prisoners through the streets of the 
capital, they were generally ridiculed by the mob. 
Yet there was so little partiality among them for 
Sharp, that the man who had fired on him in the 
open street by daylight went off untaken and un- 
tracecl. Just at this time, in his loneliness and his 
danger, he Avas an object of compassion. Burnet 
thouofht it decent to call on him on the occasion and 
express his sympathy. This was returning good for 
evil, for the two were at enmity ; and, by Burnet's 
account, he had been bullied by the primate, and 
threatened with excommunication. But his visit was 
received after another spirit : " He was much touched 
with it, and put on a show of devotion upon it. He 
said, with a very serious look, ' My times are wholly 
in Thy hand, Thou God of my life.'" Burnet's 
commentary on these words is, — •" This was the single 
expression savouring of piety that ever fell from him 
in all the conversation that passed between him and 

VOL. VII. 2 H 


me." Burnet says further, that " on this occasion it 
was thought proper that he should be called to Court 
and have some marks of the king's favour put upon 
him. He promised to make many good motions ; 
and he talked for a while like a changed man, and 
went out of his way, as he was going to Court, to visit 
me at my parsonage house." 

The impression made by this incident naturally faded 
from other minds, but not from Sharp's own. He was 
left to fight his battle in shapes that could only in- 
crease the hatred of his enemies and did not tend to 
assure his friends. The c[uestion Avas ever before him, 
— How was he to discover those whose enmity to him 
was zealous even to slaying 1 If he could find the man 
who fired the shot, a clue might be got to the others, 
and he might rid himself of all who were dangerous. 
No one helj)ed him in this, however. No trace of the 
man could be got. If any had noted his personal aspect, 
they would not betray their knowledge. One person 
only kept that man's image in remembrance — Sharp 
himself. He afterwards gave in evidence that, on the 
firing of the shot, " he had a view of him passing from 
the coach and crossing the street."^ As his busy days 
passed over him he kept on the watch for that face and 
figure, but they did not cross his path. Even in his 
retentive memory the vision must have become weak, 
when at the end of six years from the event he was 
haunted by a face. It was that of a man who pro- 
fessed to keep a small shop near the door of the 
archiepiscopal residence in Edinburgh. There was 
something sinister associated with him. At length a 
light dawned on Sharp. He thought it was the man 

' State Trials, vi. 1257. 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1663-79. 4^3 

who had fired on him. But before any public or 
ofiicial step was taken it was desirable to have a 
closer inspection of the man. To efi"ect this, Sharp's 
brother, Sir William, with the assistance of some of 
his people, seized the man. Sharp was now certain 
that he was the same who had fired the shot. It 
made the capture the more significant that he was 
found in possession of two loaded pistols, and the 
captive was handed over to the authorities. 

He would confess nothing, and no evidence could 
be obtained in support of Sharp's assurance that he 
was the guilty man. It is an old rule in Scots law 
that no one can be convicted of a crime on the tes- 
timony of one witness. This, like other and more 
potent technical protections to innocence, could be 
evaded in oppressive times. If there was but one 
material witness to the absolute fact, others could be 
produced whose testimony might be held to corro- 
borate his, though in reality it bore on facts which 
could only by a tortuous ingenuity be connected with 
the crime. But in reality it was not so much the life 
of one poor wretch that was wanted, as a revelation 
making Sharp and his comrades acquainted with a 
group of their bitterest enemies, and showing where to 
strike. He was first questioned by the Privy Council. 
As their clerk justly observed, however, " it would be 
a strange force of eloquence to persuade a man to 
confess and be hanged." It was therefore necessary 
to give him an assurance of his life. On this he gave 
a confession utterly useless for the chief purposes of 
his questioners. It stands on record that he " did 
freely confess he was the person who shot the pistol 
at the Archbishop of St Andrews when the Bishop of 


Orkney was hurt thereby in the year 1668, and de- 
pones upon oath that no living creature did persuade 
him to it, or was upon the knoAvledge of it." ^ 

He was detained a captive ; but months and years 
passed, yet no additional ray of light fell on the 
mystery. It was at last resolved to bring him to 
trial. The shot had been fired in 1668, the examin- 
ation before the Privy Council was in 1674, and the 
trial in 1677. Burnet tells us that as he entered the 
court, one of the judges " who hated Sharp " said to 
him, " Confess nothing unless you are sure of your 
limbs as well as of your life." But such a precaution 
was scarcely necessary; unless there was an intention 
to do him some evil, there could be no occasion for 
taking- his confession a second time. At all events 
he would not repeat it in the Court of Justiciary. On 
this the Privy Council revoked the promise of protec- 
tion. Even if there had been other evidence than his 
own confession sufficient for a conviction, the transac- 
tion Avould have been an ugly one. But there was no 
other evidence. The confession uttered by him on a 
promise of safety was laid before the court, and on that 
he Avas convicted. When the promise of safety was 
pleaded, the court found that they could not look at it. 

There was much forensic ceremonial and discus- 
sion at this trial. In some respects it looked like a 
very solemn and deliberate constitutional proceeding. 
Counsel spoke at great length on both sides. Illus- 
trious persons had to appear in the witness-box and 
give testimony — as, for instance, " John Earl of 
Eothes, Lord High Chancellor," " John Duke of Lau- 
derdale," and "James Archbishop of St Andrews.' 

1 State Trials, vi. 1254. 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1663-79. 485 

By what they said there they brought on themselves 
much deeper degradation than any that other people 
could have brought on them. Their information was, 
that the prisoner had made his confession to a com- 
mittee of the Council, renewing it in the presence of 
the Council The report of Lauderdale's evidence is, 
that " his grace heard no assurance given to him, and 
that his grace did not give him any assurance, nor 
give commission to any others to give him any assur- 
ance, and could not do it, having no particular war- 
rant from his majesty for that effect." Sharp's evi- 
dence is : " His grace saw him at the Council bar, in 
presence of his majesty's Commissioner and the Coun- 
cil, acknowledge his confession made before the com- 
mittee, and heard him adhere thereto and renew the 
same ; and there was no assurance of life given him, 
or any sought by him there." ■'■ 

There was in this the kind of crooked prevarication 
that in the eyes of some is more offensive than a flat 
falsehood. It was by the committee that the promise 
was made, and the testimony of these witnesses was 
that none was given by the Council at large. On the 
records of the Privy Council it may yet be read how, 
on the 12th of March 1674, Mitchell did " confess upon 
his knees he was the person, upon assurance given 
him by one of the committee as to his life, who had 
warrant from the Lord Commissioner and Council to 
give the same ; and did thereafter freely confess before 
all the lords that was upon the said committee, that 
he shot the said pistol at the said archbishop, and did 
subscribe his confession in presence of the said com- 
mittee, which is also subscribed by them." 
1 State Trials, vi. 1257. 


This affair was followed by disclosures bringing 
serious dishonour on the chief men of the Government. 
The Chancellor Eothes was less distinct in denial than 
the others. He did not, he said, give the assurance 
of life — at all events he did not " remember " the 
giving it. Hatton the treasurer gave also a dubious 
testimony. He " did not hear the pannel either seek 
assurance of his life, or any other person ofier the same 
to him." ^ Now it happened that there was in exist- 
ence a letter by Hatton to Lord Kincardine telling 
the whole story of Mitchell's capture and examination. 
The essential part of it was in these words : " It was 
moved by one that the Chancellor might take him 
apart to see what he would then say ; this being done, 
upon assurance of life he fell upon his knees, and con- 
fessed it was he that shot the Bishop of Orkney, and 
which he aimed at the archbishop. And here is his 
confession — the double of it signed by him, the Chan- 
cellor, and us. His punishment, it is thought, will be 
the loss of his right hand, and condemned to perpetual 
imprisonment on the Bass." 

This came out in an accusation or impeachment 
against Hatton, raised before the Estates in 1681 by 
William Noble, the member for Dumbartonshire. The 
charge was dropped, but it left its stain. The offence 
named in it was perjury, and Hatton's plea that his 
conduct came short of perjury was an admission of 
dishonour. To infer perjury there must be a more 
absolute untruth, and it must be proved that the 
witness was conscious at the moment that what he 
swore to was absolutely untrue.^ 

^ state Trials, vi. 1257. 

' " It is answered tliat this accusation is neither relevant nor proven ; 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1663-79. 4^7 

To return to the trial — Mitchell was bravely defended 
by Sir George Lockhart, the leader of the Opposition 
bar. The chief plea was, that confession can only be 
■used absolutely when it is made in open court before 
the jury on the great question of guilty or not guilty. 
Taken before the Privy Council, the confession was 
but a private transaction, of which all the conditions 
must be known ; and it is necessary that the records of 
the Council be produced that the whole dealing with 
the prisoner may be seen. There was so far an ad- 
mission of this plea, that, as we have seen, the most 
eminent members of the Council had to submit to 
examination as witnesses. The long record of the 
trial is valuable, as an instance where the law was 
permitted to take its course with punctilious preci- 

for as to tlie relevancy, perjury being a high crime, is not to be pre- 
sumed against any man, much less a person of so high quality and 
office, except the deeds inferring the perjury were of knowledge and 
directly contradictory. And to infer perjury must not only be deposition 
contradicting another deposition which is upon the matter false, because 
a man may depone an error bona fide through forgetfulness ; but per- 
jury must be a false deposition against one's knowledge, and so he 
must be sciens et volens. So that two oaths, after the interval of four 
years (which is the distance between the letter and deposition), suppose 
they had contradicted, yet, in charity, a person of entire fame might be 
excused from perjury ; but where the contradiction is only alleged 
betwixt a transient missive letter of news and an oath emitted four 
years after the date of the letter, no rational man can think that, albeit 
these did contradict, it could infer perjury, but only an error or mistake 
in the missive letter; and the writing of a missive upon mistake or 
design, though it were produced to a party when he is called to depone, 
if he were convinced that he had been mistaken in his missive, he 
behoved to depone according to his knowledge and the truth, though 
that contradicted his letter, which can never infer the least insinuation 
of perjury, suppose the letter had been obligatory and serious ; where- 
as this letter was only an overly indigested account of news, and unsub- 
scribed." — Proceedings before the Lords of the Articles, &c., against 
Charles Maitland of Hatton, Treasurer-Depute, for perjury, in having 
given a false testimony at the trial of James Mitchell ; State Trials, vi. 


sion ; yet all that precision, instead of protecting the 
accused, was turned against him.^ 

But there were also in that trial externals of a more 
sinister and revolting kind. The judges are spoken 
of as " obscuring themselves by putting their hands 
upon their faces and leaning upon their elbows on the 
table." This is said transiently, as if it were an 
ordinary matter ; but it is apt to recall to the admirers 
of the open justice of modern days the traditions of 
the Holy Inc[uisition and the secret tribunals of the 
middle ages. The instruments of torture were brought 
in by the hangman ; and when the prisoner refused to 
repeat the confession, the president said : " Ye see 
what is upon the table before you — I shall see if that 
can cause ye do it." 

The man who caused so much fear and trouble, and 
brought such heavy scandal on great persons, was in 
such mental condition as in the present day would give 
him the title of a "dangerous lunatic." So he would be 
at large ; and when restrained and treated for cure and 
alleviation, he would be a patient, not a criminal. He 
professed to be a clergyman, though we do not meet 
his name in connection with clerical politics. It is 

^ The pleadings are in one sense very provoking from their poverty 
as a record of tlie practice of the day in Scotland. They are almost a 
caricature of the classical and civilian character of Scots pleading. 
Instead of local precedents, we have ample references to Carpzovius, 
G(jthofredus, Mathajus, and Bossius ' De confessis per Tortviram.' As it was 
maintained that, in being taken by the Privy Council, the confession 
really was taken in a court of justice, one might have expected some 
light on the curious constitutional question, how far the " Secret Coun- 
cil " was a permanent established court. But all we get, after much 
moralising from the civil law, is : "That the confession is then judicial 
is clear, being taken by authority of the Privy Council, the supreme 
judicatory of the nation, and where the design was to expiscate the 
truth."— State Trials, vi. 1242. 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1 663-79. 4^9 

not uncommon for the insane to bring into tlieix fan- 
tastic world some complete organisation belonging to 
the rational 'n'orking world. Mitchell was an instance 
of this phenomenon, in taking up his position as an 
enemy of Sharp and the Government. They were at 
open war — he for the spirit of righteousness, and Sharp 
for the spirit of evil. In his crazy brain the forces 
were marshalled against each other with the organisa- 
tion of opposing armies entitled to claim the courtesies 
of belligerents. Thus when he had been seized by 
Sir William Sharp and his followers without a war- 
rant, he considered the act as not unfair between 
hostile powers, though it might be a questionable 
transaction between citizen and citizen in time of 
peace. And he took like privileges to himself ; and 
telling that he was "a declared enemy" to the arch- 
bishop, went on, "And he to me in like manner — so I 
never found myself obliged, either by the law of God 
or nature, to set a sentry at his door for his safety ; 
but as he was always to take his advantage, as it ap- 
pt^areth, so I of him to take any opportunity offered." 
[Mitchell was an instance of the proverbial conti- 
guity of genius to insanity. This will be found in his 
acceptance of the torture, expressed not only in a fine 
spirit of heroism, but with a sagacious insight into the 
great defect in that ari'angement for the discovery of 
truth — namely, that it makes the tortured admit what 
their tormentors dictate, instead of frankly telling what 
thev know to be the truth. When the president 
called his attention to the instruments upon the table, 
he said: "By that torture you may cause me blas- 
pheme God, as Paul did compel the saints. Tou 
mav by that torture cause me to speak amiss of your 


lordships ; to call myself a thief, a murderer, or war- 
lock, and "what not, and then pannel me upon it. But 
if ye shall, my lords, put me to it, I here protest 
before God and your lordships that nothing extorted 
from me by torture shall be made use of against me 
in judgment, nor have any force against me in law, or 
any other person whomsoever." ^ 

All the cost incurred by the Government, not only 
in hard and disagreeable work, but in dishonour, was 
wasted on this poor maniac. Whatever he knew of 
others, and indeed the question Avhether he did know 
anything, perished with him, though he was struck in 
the boot until insensibility relieved him. He was 
executed in Edinburgh in January 1678. 

The gloomy excitement spread abroad by this 
tragedy had scarce time to subside ere it was over- 
shadowed by another and a greater. On the 3d of 
UMay 1679 the rumour passed over Scotland that 
Sharp himself was murdered. In the more active 
members of the Government and their agents the 
event created terror as well as horror. To the na- 
tion at large — including those Avho did not justify 
the deed — it was the natural end assigned to " the 
bloody and deceitful man." This tragedy was the 
result of a plot long discussed by the people of the 
district, and at last brought to a distinct bearing ; but 
the plot was not against the archbishop, it was against 
another man — that the archbishop should be the 
victim was the result of an accident, or, as many put 
it at the time, of a dispensation of Divine Providence. 

^ state Trials, vi. 1228. This is liis own account of what he said ; but 
even if he improved it in writing it out, it was something to have ex- 
pressed such sentiments. 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1663-79. 491 

A certain William Carmichael, called sometimes the 
sheriff-substitute, sometimes a commissioner from the 
Council, was the object of antipathy. There is re- 
ported a meeting on the 8th of April, attended appar- 
ently by peasants of Fifeshire, with Hackston of Rath- 
illet, whose presence was desned as that of a person of 1 
superior rank having sympathy with them. " After | 
prayer, and every one pressing another to show the 
cause of the meeting," it is told how " Rathillet said, 
' Ye have sent for me, and I desire to know the cause of 
your sending for me.' Whereupon Eobert Henderson 
and Alexander Balfour answered, that the cause of 
sending for him and the calling of the meeting was to 
consult anent the condition of the shire, the Gospel 
being quite extinguished out of it, the hearts of many 
like to wax faint anent the keeping up of the same, 
through the terror and cruel ojjpression of William v 
Carmichael." He was charged with the excessive use 
of a device too common at that time — citing under the 
offensive laws persons who had not positively broken 
them, but whose conscience, or perhaps in some meas- 
ure their pride, would not permit them to appear 
and vindicate themselves in court. The temptation 
to follow this course was the penalties incurred by the 
defaulters ; and Carmichael was charged with cruelty 
and extortion in the exercise of the power so held by 
him. The steps toward a tragedy so eminent might 
in fact be called a combination to punish a greedy 
and tricky bailiff, who in the unhappy penal laws 
of the time had found some convenient instruments 
of extortion. It does not appear that his enemies 
intended to slay him. Their resolution was : "To 
take some course with Carmichael to scare him from 


his cruel courses ; and advising liow to get him, re- 
solved to wait on him either in his coming or going 
from St Andrews, or other place in the shire, being to 
sit in all the judicatories in the shire to take course 
with the honest party." Yet when there was a sug- 
gestion that perhaps the place in which Carmichael 
might most surely be found would be the archbishop's 
palace, there were some ideas started by the recollec- 
tion of Cardinal Beaton's fate, and some hints that, if 
they were jocular, were a jocularity of the grimmest 
kind : " Some objected ; what if he should be in the 
prelate's house ? what should be done in siich a case 1 
Whereupon all present, judged duty to hang both 
over the port — especially the bishop, it being by many 
of the Lord's people and ministers judged a duty long 
since not to suffer such a person to live, who had shed 
and was shedding so much of the blood of the saints, 
and knowing that other worthy Christians had used 
means to get him upon the road before." They had 
several meetings " for seeking the Lord's mind farther 
in the matter." At these meetings there was much 
said towards refreshing and clearness anent the course 
to be pursued, as when " Alexander Smith, a weaver 
in the Struther Dyke, a very godly man, after prayer 
anent their clearness in the matter of Carmichael, 
desired all to go forward, seeing that God's glory was 
the only motive that was moving them to offer them- 
selves to act for His broken-down work ; and if the 
Lord saw it meet to deliver Carmichael in their hands. 
He would bring him in their way, and employ them 
in some piece of work more honourable to God and 
them both." 

We are further told that " at this meeting it was 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1663-79. 493 

appointed that they should keep Thursday the 1st of 
May for seeking the Lord's counsel and assistance, 
and that they should be earnest with God through 
the whole shire for keeping such back which was 
oifering themselves from doing anything that would 
either dishonour Him or wrong the cause." It was 
arranged to seek out two determined friends of 
their cause who were in hiding from previous diffi- 
culties — John Balfour of Kinloch, commonly called- 
" Burley " or " Burleigh," and John Henderson. A 
committee, to consist of ten or twelve, was appointed 
to put their plan in execution. But ever to the last 
it was with Carmichael that they were to deal ; and 
their ground of quarrel was the seizure of their goods 
for failing to appear before tribunals where con- 
science forbade them to appear. Just before going 
forth against Carmichael they affixed to the school- 
room-door a notice or proclamation denouncing ven- 
geance against all who co-operated with Carmichael 
by purchasing the effects distrained from the recusants 
and offered for sale by public auction. The placard 
gave " advertisement to all that should meddle with 
these spoiled goods, either by assisting, resetting, buy- 
ino', or any way countenancing the same — however 
they thought themselves at present guarded by a 
military force, and these persons spoiled despicable — 
that they should be looked on as accessary to the 
robbery, and should meet with a punishment answer- 
able to the villany." So, to the last, the design was 
to frio-hten or punish a man who had found in recent 
legislation an effective instrument of extortion. This 
business was transacted on Wednesday. An arrange- 
ment was then made " to meet on Friday night, for 


taking some course witli Carmichael on Saturday if 
he could be gotten." If he were gotten and dealt 
with according to their intention, which does not seem 
to have extended to murder, there was a resolution 
that the friends of the cause "be ready against the 
Sabbath for keeping of a field conventicle, resolving 
to resist such as should offer to oppose the meeting." 
The arrangements for thus celebrating the downfall 
of Carmichael were so far on that " there was one 
away for bringing of a minister " to hold this con- 
venticle on the day after the business had been trans- 
acted. A committee was appointed — to consist of 
ten, or a few more if it were found desirable — to find 
Carmichael and deal with him ; and to that end 
they were to be " mounted presently with horse and 
armed." Looking at all this preparation with the 
project for holding a solemn conventicle in defiance 
of any offer to suppress it, we may hold that they 
were striving to free Fifeshire from what they counted 
the oppressive rule of the civil authorities ; but it was 
determined otherwise. 

On the night before the day assigned they as- 
sembled, in number thirteen, " one of whom they let 
go, not being clear to reveal to him what was de- 
signed." Of the twelve who remained, Hackston of 
Rathillet was the only one whose social position 
claimed for him the title of " gentleman." He had 
been a profligate in his youth ; but he had got clear- 
ness of his acceptance, and one for whom so much 
had been done behoved to do much in the way of his 
Eedeemer's cause. Balfour apjoears to have been a 
" bonnet laird " or yeoman. The rest were peasants 
and artisans. They spent the night in the house of 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1663-79. 495 

a friend of tlie honest cause who was out on hiding. 
While the others prayed and reposed, one of their 
number went to Cupar to watch Carraichael's motions. 
He returned at seven o'clock on the morning of the 
4th, to tell them that he had seen their man leave 
Cupar to go to hunt on Tarvit Hill. They now felt 
sure of him. Some one had told Carmichael, how- 
ever, that suspicious inquiries had been made about 
his motions, and he returned to Cupar. After an 
angry and impatient search, the twelve deliberated 
on the matter, and found "that it seemed God had 
remarkably kept them back, and him out of their 
hands." But they felt that they could not have been 
called to that spot for no purpose : " John Balfour 
said he was sure they had something to do ; for he, 
being at his uncle's house, intending towards the 
Highlands because of the violent rage in Fife, was 
pressed in spirit to return ; and he incjuiring the 
Lord's mind anent it, got this word borne in upon 
him, 'Go and prosper.' So he, coming from prayer, 
wondering what it could mean, went again, and got 
it confirmed by that Scripture, ' Go ! have not I sent 
you \ ' whereupon he durst no more question, but 
presently returned." 

They met a boy, whom they sent to make some 
trivial inquiries ; and when he returned he said the 
" o-oodwife " bade him tell them that the archbishop's 
coach was approaching. This was astounding news. 
Was it complete, and was the archbishop in it ? One 
of their number went to make sure. Yes ; it was 
Judas himself in all the guilty state for which he 
had sold the Church of Christ. Here, indeed, was the 
mysterious working of His hand made visible. The 


paltry subordinate for whom, in the mere pursuance 
of their human designs, they had laid their plot, had 
been taken out of their hands, and the arch-traitor had 
been put in his place. As an object so much greater 
than they sought had been consigned to their hands, 
so must their dealing with it be a great deed adequate 
to the opportunity. They must slay him. It was 
clear that this was what God required of their hands. 
They dared not go back from the deed. If they did, 
the blood of all the Lord's people already slain — of 
all deaths and sufferings of the righteous that might 
follow — would be upon their heads. They dared not 
— they could not — withhold the hand from the work. 
They consulted about the choice of a leader, and 
asked Hackston if he would command them. No ; 
he had been concerned in a personal discussion with 
the archbishop about some pecuniary matter. The 
carnal man had been stirred within him. He could 
not feel sure of that utter extinction of mere human 
motive that must, exist in the minds of those worthy 
of such a deed. But if those around him felt free of 
any such earthly burden, and had clearness as to the 
call made to them to act, he would cast his lot in with 
theirs — he would stand by and see the deed done, 
taking the temporal consequences of a participator. 
There was a touch of the chivalrous in this, whatever 
we may say of its wild fanaticism. The place of leader 
was taken by the fierce Burley, who had no scruples. 
He went to the front, and bade them follow him. 

In interpreting the scene that followed, it may be 
well to keep in view that the inhabitants of Fifeshire 
were the least warlike of the Scots. Isolated by the 
two firths, and the Ochil Hills as a barrier crossing 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1663-79. 497 

the country between them, they were not in the track 
of armies passing north and south. English invasions, 
if carried so far north, often swept round by the west- 
ern side of the Ochil range. They were too far off to 
be troubled with the Border thieves, who, though they 
had lost the greater part of their terrors, were still 
troublesome. They were alike exempt from the 
scourge of their western and northern neighbours — 
the predatory descents of the Highlander. They were 
a people who lived a little by farming, but chiefly by 
commerce and navigation. The peasantry not being 
accustomed to warfare, it is likely that the group col- 
lected on Magus Moor may have been new to the use 
of weapons. This seems to be the best way of ac- 
counting for some features in the bloody scene just 
going to begin. It was a time when assassins were 
expert and prompt, and so far merciful in their work ; 
but here was a sad exception. 

The archbishop had his daughter as his travelling 
companion. There are some little incidents of which 
she could be the only relater ; they are trifling, but 
everything is of interest at such a moment. He had 
stopped at the village of Ceres on his way, to take 
a social pipe with the parson of the parish. The 
moor at that time stretched over a wide district now 
planted or under the plough. It had no scenery or 
culture to vary the desolate gloom of a flat Scotch 
moor. Some gloomy thoughts seem to have arisen in 
the hunted man's mind as he crossed the moor, and 
they seem to have turned more on his child's prospects 
than his own. As he passed the house of one whom 
he knew to be hostile, he said, " There lives an ill- 
natured man — God preserve us, my child ! " There 

VOL. VIT. 2 I 


was good reason for alarm when presently a horseman 
was seen galloping furiously towards the carriage. 
When he reached it and looked in, his signal brought 
the rest of the group after him. He then fired into 
the carriage. There was consternation in those borne 
by it outside and in, and the obvious alternative was 
to drive for life. The horsemen came up, firing volley 
after volley into the carriage. They struck down the 
attendants, stopped the horses, and still fired. They 
then turned to depart, in the belief that they had 
riddled the body of their victim and extinguished life. 
Some remark made by his daughter, however, brought 
them back. They found him alive, and, as they con- 
vinced themselves, untouched. The case was clear. 
The Evil One was notoriously known to have power 
of contracting with the lost souls he dealt in for 
exemption from the leaden bullet ; but his power did 
not extend to " the edge of the sword," sanctified of 
old as the avenger of wickedness. 

They tried to strike him in the carriage, but without 
deadly effect ; and in their clumsy hacking they hurt 
his daughter. They demanded that he should come 
out — "Judas, come forth ! " — but he naturally remained 
with such protection as the heavy intricate coach 
afforded him, and they found it no easy task to drag 
him from it. It is odd that among his possessions in 
that coach were a hanger and a pair of pistols of fine 
workmanship. It is difficult to account for his pos- 
session of such weapons without an intention to use 
them, and equally difficult to say why he did not use 
them in his awful peril. Against assailants so clumsy, 
excited by superstition, and disturbed in nerve by 
a bloody work they were unaccustomed to, it seems 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1663-79. 499 

likely that a resolute man well armed might have 
held the coach as a sort of fortress for some time. 
Partly he was dragged and partly he came forth, 
observing that Hackston was not active among the 
murderers. He was sitting at some distance, calm 
and erect, on his horse, with his cloak about his mouth, 
when the wounded wretch crept to him, saying, " You 
are a gentleman — you Avill save my life." Hackston 
only said, "I will not lay a hand on you." It was 
said that he pleaded frantically for mercy, making 
promises of all kinds — he would reward them — he 
would plead for their lives, forfeited by what they had 
already done. But if their hearts were open to mercy, 
the fate of Mitchell was in their remembrance. Some 
things were said by the assailants in their justification ; 
and though perhaps they be not accurately reported, 
they are of interest as expressing the spirit by which 
they felt themselves driven to the deed. James 
Russel, the teller of the story, says, that on Sharp de- 
claring that " he had never wronged man," he himself 
" declared before the Lord that it was no particular 
interest, nor yet for any wrong that he had done to 
him, but because he had betrayed the Church as 
Judas, and had wrung his hands these eighteen or 
nineteen years in the blood of the saints, but especially 
at Pentland ; and Mr Guthrie, and Mr Mitchell, and 
James Learmonth ; and they were sent by God to 
exercise His vengeance on him this day." "And 
John Balfour on horseback said : ' Sir, God is our Avit- 
ness that it is not for any wrong thou hast done to 
me, nor yet for any fear of what thou could do to me, 
but because thou hast been a murderer of many a 
poor soul in the Kirk of Scotland, and a betrayer of 


the Churcli, and an open enemy and persecutor of 
Jesus Christ and His members, whose blood thou hast 
shed like water on the earth, and therefore thou 
shalt die.'" 

Even when they had him on the bare heath, it was 
some time ere life was extinguished by their clumsy, 
cruel hacking. They said they were three-quarters 
of an hour at work on the deed, and they notice the 
length of time as peculiarly significant when taken 
along with other concomitants. The long protraction 
of the trouble was due to the efforts made by his 
master Satan to preserve a life so valuable to his 
cause. On the other hand, a higher power had re- 
moved external sources of interference. The group 
afterwards remarked, with pious awe, that although 
they were all that time at work on the highroad 
between the civil and ecclesiastical capital of Scotland 
— though there were people going and coming all day 
long, and there were many soldiers parading the dis- 
trict on account of the disorders of the time — though 
there was noise and confusion among them, and many 
shots were fired — and all on an elevated open plain, — 
yet they could not have been more absolutely free of 
intrusion had they been in the centre of the Great 

Other wonderful indications of a guiding and pro- 
tecting hand were not completed until afterwards. 
Hackston, as we have seen, took no share in the 
murder. Another man occupied himself in keeping 
l^ack out of harm's way the poor daughter, who was 
making frantic efforts to reach her father. Now it 
was noted that these two were the only members of 
that group who suftered punishment for the day's 


work. The shield of protection, stretched over those 
^yho were doing the work commanded, did not extend 
over them. They were actuated by human and sub- 
lunary sensations — the one by a sense of honour, the 
other by humanity — and so they were left to the justice 
or injustice of human tribunals. 

There was an immediate search to find some token 
of his compact with the devil. They found, among 
other trifles, " some coloured thread, and some yellow 
coloured thing like to parings of nails which would 
not burn." These were probably possessions of the 
daughter connected with the mysteries of embroiderj^. 
Perhaps, also, she might have taken the responsibility 
on herself of a more ominous object discovered by the 
murderers : " Upon the opening of his tobacco-box a 
living humming-bee flew out. This either Kathillet or 
Balfour called his ' familiar ; ' and some in the company 
not understanding the term, they explained it to be a 
devU." This discovery does not appear to have sur- 
prised them. Perhaps they would have been more 
puzzled had they found nothing that could be con- 
nected with the world of darkness. Some such thing 
as that they found came as naturally to them as a 
fossil comes to the geologist hammering at the stratum 
in which he expects to find it. The " familiar " in the 
shape of a small living being easily disposed of was a 
belief common to the time. The creature was an agent 
or ambassador from the prince of the powers of dark- 
ness, ever at hand. Hence the German legend of the 
bottle-imp — a creature lying lethargic when the world 
is behaving well, but showing animation and activity 
when any mischief likely to promote its master's 
interest is brewing. 


This account of the death of Archbishop Sharp has 
been prepared from the authorities noted below. No 
one can be sure that he gives Avith precise accuracy 
the stages of such an event ; but I believe that it is of 
far more importance to bring out the spirit at work in 
those concerned, and it fortunately happens that this 
is revealed by the documents referred to with signal 
clearness.^ Surely it may be confidently hoped — let 
us say it may be at once believed — that at this day no 
man, sane and intelligent, making himself acquainted 
with the nature of the deed, would have a word to 
say in vindication, or even in palliation, of it. In 
what spirit a large body of the nation accepted the 
act, we may see through the facts already stated and 
those that are to follow. A torrent of discussion, 
carrying away with it the cLuestion whether anything 
could justify a murder, Avas opened in the phraseology 
of the proclamations and other documents issued by 
the Government. They called the crime "sacrilege" 

^ These are — (1) The narrative in AVodrow's History of the Sufferings, 
collected from private papers and conversation with persons living at the 
time. (2) The trial of Hackston of Eathillet, printed, with a body of 
relative documents, in the tenth volume of the octavo edition of the State 
Trials, p. 791 et seq. (3) The documents appended by Mr Kirkpatriok 
Sharpe to his edition of Kirkton's History — especially a narrative by 
" James Eussel in Kettle," one of the most active of the murderers. It 
is in one of these documents, written by " two persons who were pre- 
sent," and no doubt partakers in the business, that the story of the bee 
in the box is told. The paper is preserved in the handwriting of 
Wodrow. He was signally susceptible to all the current superstitions of 
his day, but it is observable that he does not transfer this incident to 
his History. The dealers with Satan had by tliat time decayed in rank. 
Only the poor witches, who were his slaves, had been left. The potent 
wizard who could command the services of the court of darkness, and 
who kept one of its members in his custody that he might from time to 
time promptly communicate his wishes, had disappeared. This was of 
course the lofty position held by the archbishop in his diplomatic inter- 
course with the arch-enemy. 

LIFE AND DEATH OF SHARP, 1663-79. 503 

as well as murder ; and this brought retaliation, in the 
charges of apostasy, treachery, and cruelty for which 
the punishment was inflicted. However the law 
might stand, it was impossible to convince Presbyte- 
rians of even the most moderate kind that there was 
anything about the Right Reverend James Sharp to 
make him sacred in their eyes, so that violence com- 
mitted on him would be a worse crime than the same 
violence committed on the Lord High Commissioner 
or the Lord Chancellor. How reluctant the Presby- 
terian mind was to part with the idea of a just judg- 
ment we may see in the reflections briefly dropped 
by Wodrow : " Upon the whole, though the most part 
of good people in Scotland could not but observe and 
adore the holy and righteous providence of God in 
the removal of this violent persecutor and spring of 
the most part of the former severities at such a junc- 
tiu'e when just upon new and violent projects, yet 
they could not approve of the manner of taking him 
ofi', nor would they justify the actors."-^ Such are the 
words of a clerg)Tnan of the Scottish Establishment 
in the reign of Greorge II. — a man not only fervently 
religious, but in social repute a gentle, moderate, 
honest, and kindly man. A word, however, has yet to 
be said in fairness to all parties at that period. It is 
usual in history to use the term " assassination " rather 
than murder on such occasions. The practice is use- 
ful, as it separates murder as a private crime, and 
casual slaughter in times of violence and confusion, 
from the act by which a public man is put to death 
as a punishment for his political creed and the means 
of stopping his political career, the act being done 

1 Vol. iii. 48. 


without any form of trial or other judicial procedure. 
In this sense the death of Sharp is the one act of 
assassination that can be charged against the Pres- 
byterian cause in Scotland. 

The assassins spent the night in a lonely house 
called " The Teuchits ; " and though it was but some 
three miles from the spot where they had done the 
deed, and all the neighbourhood, with the military and 
the civil authorities, must have heard of it, they were 
left undisturbed to the exorbitant exercise of prayer 
demanded by such a crisis. According to Russel, they 
" went to prayers, first together and then each one 
alone, with great composure of spirit, and enlargement 
of heart more nor ordinary, blessing the Lord, who had 
called them out and carried them so courageously 
through so great a work, and led them by His Holy 
Spirit in every step that they stepped in that matter." 

It was the object of Hackston, Burley, and the 
greater part of the group, to find their way to the 
sympathetic west country. Some three or four 
dropped off and hid themselves, with varying inci- 
dents, but all successfully. Before following the main 
body we may enter into the confidential utterings of 
one of them, William Daniel. A singular Christian 
gentlewoman put at his disposal an empty house in a 
lonely place, where he " stayed alone day and night, 
except the gentlewoman and her daughters brought 
him meat in the night-time." After spending some 
days under conditions well adapted for pleasant re- 
flections on what he had done, he joined his compan- 
ions ; and the one who has given us their history says : 
" He told them that he had never so much of the pre- 
sence of the Lord before ; for all that eight or nine 

THE MURDERERS, 1679. 50$ 

days lie was in a rapture, and the Lord had confirmed 
them and approved of all that they had done ; and 
still to the day of his death he was kept in a rapture 
of joy, and to his death witnessed against the indul- 
gence, and declared that the Lord had let him see that 
it was hatched in hell for to ruin the Kirk of God." 

Hackston and the rest had a perilous journey 
before them. In Fifeshire there was but a small 
number of the peculiar people. To get to the west 
country, where their brethren went about armed, and 
where they sometimes gathered in numbers, it was 
necessary to pass through the midland district, where 
very few sympathised with them, and the Malignants 
had a great preponderance. Before beginning the 
journey, which would bring them, fresh upon the 
rumours of the deed, into the hostile district round 
Perth, they prayed, that " seeing He had been pleased 
to honour them to act for Him, and to execute His 
justice upon that wretch — whom all that loved the 
welfare of Zion ought to have striven who might 
have had their hand first on him — He might let it be 
known by keeping them out of their enemies' hands 
and straight in His way." Accordingly it was put in 
the minds of those with whom they mingled that they 
were troopers on their way from some loyal district 
to join the musters called on account of threatening- 
rumours from the west. When it came to a closer 
examination of their destination and object, it was 
brouo-ht in upon the minds of the people that they 
were one of the armed parties out in pursuit of the 
murderers. So it was disposed for them, and they 
had only to humour the metamorphosis. Hackston, 
a gentleman and a soldier, who had been one of the 


worldly, was able to play the Cavalier leader and 
jolly follow with good effect. Some perilous jesting 
thus extracted from him showed that the evils of the 
times had lost to his country a ready wit as Avell as 
a brave heart. When they came to Dunblane they 
" called for the clerk and for a double gill of brandy." 
A mob gathered to see the men in pursuit of the 
murderers ; and there was much talk, taking a light 
jovial turn, as became Cavalier troopers. The ques- 
tion of the personal appearance of the murderers com- 
ing up, the clerk in his merriment said, " ' You are all 
of them;' and said to John Balfour, 'You shot first 
at him.' Eathillet, laughing, said, ' If all Dunblane 
had been here they could not have judged so right.' " 
The clerk found them such excellent company that 
they must needs take another gill with him. He 
whispered to them, also, that if he could meet them 
in private — he did not know who might be in the 
crowd — he could give them " an account of some 
Whigs that lived thereabout." 

When they got as far west as Kippen, in Stirling- 
shire, they found themselves among the " honest 
folk." On Sunday the 18th of May they attended 
an armed conventicle on a hill called Fintry Craigs. 
Shots were exchanged, and they did some damage 
to the assailants ; but as to themselves, " the Lord 
brought them off without the least wrong," "not so 
much as one in all the meeting were hurt — only one 
man was shot through the coat, but did not touch his 
skin." Such was the good fortune of the conventicle 
sanctified by the presence of these chosen instru- 
ments. One was so close on seizure that as he lay in 
a hollow of a bank some troopers had come within 

THE MURDERERS, 1679. 507 

four or five feet of the hollow, " but "were so restrained 
of the Lord that they got not leave to look in ; for 
the commander cried to him that was going up and 
down searching, ' Are you seeking hens V" So in the 
end " the Lord wonderfully carried them through " 
" until they joined those who were rising in arms in 
the west." 

Most of these men were conspicuously active in the 
turbulent affairs following on their act. Their very 
carelessness, as men who were protected by a higher 
power, seems to have saved them. For instance, their 
historian Russel, who was one of the most active in 
the slaughter, came repeatedly before the world in 
much prominence